One Beloved Story - Five Exciting Writers - A Collection to Cherish!
What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball? Or when the slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl? What happens when Cinderella is determined to oust an imposter prince from her rightful throne? Or when she is a cendrillon miner working from a space station orbiting a cthonian planet? What happens when Cinderella, a humble housemaid, is sent with a message for a prisoner trapped in a frightening fairy circus?
Here is Cinderella as you have never met her before, wearing glass slippers and off on unforgettable adventures!
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Five Glass Slippers is Rooglewood Press's first fairytale collection, and a beautiful one at that! A couple years ago they set up a contest for anyone to enter a 5k to 20k word Cinderella retelling and chose five of the many entries to put into this one collection. The five girls chosen were picked with good reason, each of the stories taking the original tale of Cinderella and turning it into something new and different and wonderful.
What Eyes Can See by Elisabeth Brown
Rating: 3 Stars
This was a sweet little story to start the collection out with, though it had a few flaws that kept me somewhat detached. The way the omniscient POV was handled threw me off some, and I felt the writing style a little bland. And though the characters were sweet, I never got as attached to them as I would have liked. Except for Drusilla. I liked her from nearly her first appearance, and my love only grew stronger. What I really loved about this story was how it kept practically all the Cinderella themes in clever ways, but then flipped the whole familiar tale completely on its head. Evil stepmother and stepsisters? Nope. How about a sweet stepfamily and a Cinderella who really doesn’t want to go to the ball? Oh, and also let’s give one of the stepsisters the main spotlight instead of Cinderella. Interesting concept, am I right? Despite some of its misgivings, this story is worth a read. It’s a very intriguing take on our beloved Cinderella and the surprise ending was absolutely delicious. Trust me. Or read it for yourself and see. *winks*
Broken Glass by Emma Clifton
Rating: 5 Stars
Oooh, this story! It had me hooked right from the beginning and kept me turning pages so quickly I probably gave myself whiplash. Emma Clifton has a gift for dry humor and wit. By the time I got to the end, my cheeks were sore due to so much grinning and giggling. This had such a colorful, lively cast of characters I honestly forgot I was even reading about fictional people. Each and every one popped off the pages in their own unique and loveable way, even the ones that probably shouldn’t be described as loveable. I adored all of them. The tale is completely worth reading for the characters alone. But then you throw in a steampunk world (um, yes please!), some insane schemes involving exploding carriages and an inept fairy godmother, and completely original twists on the Cinderella story (it’s not everyday that the glass slipper fits on the wrong girl!), you’ve got yourself a recipe for a fantastic, humorous, exciting tale. I don’t know how Emma Clifton fit so much into one novella. There wasn’t a single thing I disliked about this story—from the quick, easy writing to the lively characters and crazy schemes. It was one of the most fun tales I’ve ever read.
The Windy Side of Care by Rachel Heffington
Rating: 3.5 Stars
I have mixed feelings on this one. I think the problem is that it was a phenomenal story, just not my thing. Rachel Heffington has an absolutely amazing talent for rich writing. It’s like if you put something such as Charles Dickens or Jane Austen with a touch of modern flare together you’d have Miss Heffington’s style. Sadly, my wee brain has never mixed well with such writing. I much more enjoy fast-paced sentences (there’s a reason YA is my favorite genre). So, as a result, I didn’t mix well with this tale. I also found the characters a little too pretentious. One of my favorite things about the Cinderella story is Cinderella herself. I love her quiet spirit, so different from most heroines we see these days. Alis from The Windy Side of Care has anything but a quiet spirit. The wit and bantering had me chuckling, but I just couldn’t quite click with the characters. Though by the ending, I had become much more fond of them, especially Prince Auguste. Despite all this, I actually immensely enjoyed the plot itself. Rachel Heffington took the Cinderella themes and absolutely made them her own. Instead of simply dreaming of living in a castle, our heroine is quite certain she’s rightfully the queen and takes it upon herself to take the throne, no matter the complications. Quite an interesting take on the original tale! And the ending was fabulous and made it all worth it. Overall, this story wasn’t exactly my type of thing to read, but Rachel Heffington’s talent really is exceptional, and I think a lot of people will completely love this tale.
A Cinder’s Tale by Stephanie Ricker
Rating: 4 Stars
This was actually a fantastic tale without a thing wrong with it. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a sci-fi person, so, as with The Windy Side of Care, I didn’t mix greatly with it. I’ve just never enjoyed stories set in space and spaceships, and that’s exactly what this setting is. I found myself having to reread through a lot of paragraphs to get a grasp on the space-y talk. But that was no fault of Miss Ricker’s! Her writing was smooth and beautiful and extremely clever, I’ve just never exposed myself to a lot of sci-fi stories and it takes my brain a bit of time to settle into it. BUT I still very much enjoyed this story. This definitely has to be one of the most unique Cinderella retellings I’ve ever seen. This story did indeed have a ball, but it also had space battles, clones, a cyborg, an alien in place of the fairy godmother, and all manner of witty dialogue. Action and excitement abounded! What really endeared me to this story though was the characters and their relationships. Our heroine, Elsa, and her fun-loving crew made every page pop with life and fun. *I* wanted to be part of their happy little crew. Their friendship felt so real and lively and sweet. It was absolutely worth the read just to feel a part of the little cinder crew alone. So even if you’re not a sci-fi person like me, give this one a try. And if you do like sci-fi, you’re going to love this story!
The Moon Master’s Ball by Clara Diane Thompson
Rating: 5 Stars
One word came to me when I finished this tale: Wow. While reading it I kept wishing it was a whole novel, because the closer I got to the end the more I realized I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to be swept into Tilly’s eerie world for far longer than just within a novella. This story was definitely the darkest of the five, but I think that’s why I loved it the most. The dark beauty of it thrust me into a world of a mysterious circus, chilly streets, dangerous creatures, and a timid girl trying to get away from a past trauma but being shoved closer to it every day. The true mystery starts when our heroine, Tilly, is sent to the strange circus with a letter in her pocket addressed to the Moon Master. From there strange, magical things occur and the suspense rises with each page. The simple but beautiful writing style glided through the story and took me on an otherworldly, heart-racing journey. Each character endeared themselves to me, the Moon Master himself especially. If I had one complaint it’d be that there wasn’t nearly enough of him, simply because he was amazing. But they all were, the whole story was. Really, I can’t complain about anything. I adored this eerily beautiful story from the first sentence to the last. It’s one of those stories that struck deep inside me and will cling there forever. The perfect end to a splendid collection of Cinderella stories.
All in all, I enjoyed each story in their own special way. My favorite thing about retellings is seeing all the different twists that can be done from one little story. There were so many clever takes on the original Cinderella tale, I’m in awe at the brilliant minds that put these together. If you’re a fan of Cinderella or just fairytales in general I highly recommend this collection. Each story was so different but so intriguing, swirling together to make one memorable collection.
All together I give the collection a. . .
4 out of 5 stars