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Enchanted Fairytales: A Collection of Fairytale Retellings Paperback – March 30, 2013
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
About the Author
Cindy C Bennett is a bestselling young adult author. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her high school sweetheart who also happens to be her husband. She's the proud mom of two sons and two daughters, as well as two daughters-in-law. When she's not writing (or any of the many activities that go hand-in-hand with that) you might find her on her Harley Davidson, cruising the canyons near her home. She happens to adore her readers, and is grateful to them for reading her work and giving her the chance to do this thing that she is so very passionate about. Yup, she's living the dream! You can find more info about Cindy and her work at www.cindycbennett.com
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Here's a brief summary of what's included:
~Beautiful Beast~ Calli, a genuinely kind and also no-nonsense person, tags along with friends to see the 'Monster House' in town but gets caught (though friends escape) by the 'beast' - 17-year-old Alex, who lives with his standoffish, businessman father. To escape charges being pressed for trespass, the father strikes a deal with Calli to come live with them for 6 months. During that time, the two teens forge a tentative friendship that develops into something more, leading to Alex's emotional healing from trauma of the past. I LOVED this one and it worked really well with the modern characters. They had great chemistry and their relationship was so sweet to read. I really hope the author revisits this one with a full-length in future. The character development was surprisingly good and detailed for being a short, and I can only imagine how great it would be with another few hundred pages.
~Red and the Wolf~ Ruby is dealing with resurfacing feelings about a past love when he returns to town, but she has to contend with the testosterone-fueled rivalry between said love and his brother, while at the same time taking care of her alcoholic father and the strange wolf attacks coming in to livestock in town. This story reminded me a little of the 'Twilight' saga by Stephenie Meyer and it wasn't one of my top picks (though I liked Twilight). However, this story has never been my favorite fairy tale anyway. Ruby is a likeable character with some backbone and independence. She is very relatable for any girl who has ever loved a guy who left and didn't communicate well, then came home while you still carried a torch for him. The storyline is a little darker than the others, along with 'The White Swan.'
~Snow White~ My favorite of the 5 and another hope for a full-length version. Snow White is mistreated by her stepmother and escapes from the hired assassin, only to enter the avoided-by-townspeople Neru Forest, where she eventually stumbles in to the alternate world/enchanted tiny kingdom of Fableton. She meets the delightful 7 dwarves (with different names still reflecting their attributes) and then the prince for whom this alternate world was vindictively created, Philip. All inhabitants are bound by the enchantment but Snow, who is another inherently good person like Calli in 'Beautiful Beast', knows she must try to stop her wicked stepmother so no more innocent people fall prey to her. Philip is also bound cruelly by the enchantment but finds happiness with Snow for the first time in centuries - yes, centuries - and struggles with protecting her when he knows she may be their only hope. Another beautiful romance with great chemistry.
~The Unmasking of Cinderella~ Amella is a self-homeschooled and downtrodden servant to her stepmother and stepsister, who force her to do everything and allow her nothing in return, not even a chance to go to a real school with other people. In walks Dayla, the fairy godmother stand-in who schemes to help Amella in getting at least a little bit of light in her life, namely in the form of a budding relationship with Char, whom Amella literally stumbled in to. The modernism with a hint of magic to it works really well in this story. Amella is a quiet, docile, kind person who lacks a little emotion until the end of the story when it all comes out rather abruptly - but toward Char, not her stepmother, who really deserves it. She and Char both help each other to learn how to stand up for themselves and start taking control of their own lives instead of the parents (and pseudo-parent) deciding everything for them. This one comes complete with the expected ball and is also a very believable story with believable characters.
~The White Swan~ Odette and her less-perfect twin sister, Odile, both love the same guy - Victor - and all are friends with Benno, who is a budding sorcerer with a controlling, twisted side. This story is also darker and a little disturbing to see the pleasure Benno gets out of casting spells on the girls. Odile fell prey first and is doomed to spend her days as a black swan on an enchanted lake while being let out of the captivity only at night. Benno, who is also in love with Odette, has a plan to steal her from Victor and succeeds in turning her into a white swan who is also magically bound to the lake. The girls, in turn, work on thwarting Benno's plan and keeping Victor safe. There is less room for character development here considering there are 4 main characters to work with. I've never actually read the fairy tale of 'Swan Lake' before, so this is my first intro to the story.
All in all, this book is definitely worth getting if you like fairy tales and don't mind seeing them with a modern take. I'd like to get this book in paperback form just because I love books in print, but I went ahead and got the kindle version first because it was a really great price in comparison ($3.96). The kindle version was excellent - there might have been an error or two but I honestly can't remember any, so if there were, they must not have been a big deal. I've read kindle books before with frequent grammar or spelling errors, and this one was not like that.
Calli and her group of friends wanted to catch a peek of the monster of Monster House. What they did not expect was for the monster to see them and give chase. Injured and left behind, Calli was at his mercy. Forced to live with him and become his friend, Calli began to realize there was sweet soul underneath all the pain and sorrow. Will she be able to convinced Alex that he wasn't the monster he thought himself to be?
I'm a sucker for a contemporary Beauty and the Beast story and 'Beautiful Beast' foot the bill. The plot was different with its "real life" aspect and no magic. Usually, romances tend to suffer in short stories but the author handled the length of time by jumping from days to weeks to months. So, their budding love made sense. The cast of characters were all nice and didn't add any unnecessary drama. However, my only gripe would be how fast she readily accepted him. The length of the story required there be a rush but since they were teenagers, I kind of expected them to be a bit of reservation before becoming BFF after day one. Other than that, a good read.
Red and the Wolf - 4.5/5
Ruby was heartbroken when Rafe suddenly went away three years ago. And just as suddenly, he returned. Can Ruby forgive the past and renew her love for him? Or will his family's dark secret keep them apart?
Never was a fan of Red Riding Hood. But this version I like. Since there was a past history, the plot moved in an agreeable swift pace. It was pack-filled with angst, drama, sweetness and action. The story will keep you to the edge of your seat. Ruby was someone I can definitely relate to and villain was deliciously evil. A strong story.
Snow White - 4/5
By her stepmother's orders, Snow White was to be taken to the forbidden forest and be killed. Tricking her executioner, Snow White escaped and found her way to a hidden village of Fableton. In Fableton, she met a prince and seven men who were trapped there for centuries. The only way to break the curse was to kill her stepmother. And Snow was the only person to do it.
There was a tidbit that reminded me of "Mirror, Mirror." For example, Snow was taught to fight from the 7 "dwarves" and had to go up against her stepmother. Other than that, this was a pretty original tale on its own. Influences from the original fairy tale were present at the start and the ending. The unexpected twist with the hidden village and cursed prince made this retelling a breath of fresh air. Also, there was a good lesson to learn.
The Unmasking of Cinderella - 4/5
After the death of her father, Amella was forced to stay home and be her evil stepmother's personal, overworked maid. But a chance encounter at the laundromat changed Amella's fate. But with her stepmother still pulling the strings, can Amella escape her clutches and seize her prince?
Since I'm in a Cinderella kick lately, I was looking forward to reading this one. This was pretty standard. The stepmother and stepsister were especially evil. The godmother was a cool but mysterious lady. Though there was no real explanation why she was helping Amella for or where exactly she came from. Amella was your basic Cinderella heroine. The prince was slightly awkward, making him a cutie. The second half of the story was the best part. It was really intense, those last few pages. The plot was a little slow in the beginning, but the ending sure made up for it. It was sweet.
The White Swan - 3.5/5
Odette was turned into a swan by her jealous friend, Rothbart, who wanted to keep her for himself. Odette have to figure out how to escape and protect her love, Victor. When Victor figured out the truth, can their love be strong enough to thwart the evil?
Another story I have a love/hate for. As the author stated, you will see some influences from "The Swan Princess" movie. However, I liked the twist with having Odile as her twin sister. It really added to the emotional aspect of the swan curse. Overall, the story was nicely paced and the ending was quickly wrapped up.
This has to be one of the best anthology from one author that I have ever read. The writing was well done. What made this book unique was that the characters were around college-aged and took placed in modern times. My only gripe with all the stories was that it was a tad too short. I would've loved an epilogue to wrap up their happily ever afters. In any case, I enjoyed these tales. Ms. Bennett adapted each fairy tale very well. So, if you are a fellow fairy tale fan, get this anthology. It will be worth it. Even if you aren't and looking for a clean, drama, YA romance, go for it. The only reason I gave it 4 stars was because I can't see myself reading it over and over again. But I'm definitely keeping it.
Series: Enchanted Fairytales
Genre: fairytale, romance, retelling, contemporary, short stories
Publisher: Cindy C. Bennett
Publication date: Book 1-April 25, 2012; Book 2-; Book 3-; Book 4-; Book 5-
Number of pages: Book 1-86; Book 2-; Book 3-; Book 4-; Book 5-
Grade level: 6th+
Books in the series:
2-Red and the Wolf
4-The Unmasking of Cinderella
5-The White Swan