- File Size: 8851 KB
- Print Length: 320 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Padwolf Publishing Inc. (April 16, 2012)
- Publication Date: April 16, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007V538QA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,454 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$17.50|
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Shards Of The Glass Slipper: Queen Cinder Kindle Edition
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|Length: 320 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The world building in this book was serviceable, though a bit on the thin side. Instead of a rich tapestry for the tale to unfold on, it felt like a stage that used projected images onto a cloth backdrop. A few pieces stood out in more detail, almost taking on a feeling of stage props, yet everything still remained a bit flat for my tastes.
Not exactly sure if the characters made it to fully developed or not. They were definitely more than cardboard cutouts, but there was still something that felt like it was missing. It doesn't help that the beloved fairy tale characters (and Roy manages to pull them all in, even many of the Mother Goose ones) have been built up over the years by mega corporations to be such happy-go-lucky, nothing-can-hurt me pieces of fluff. The characters you meet are anything but fluff. They are gritty, strong willed, independent, and in many cases - resourceful. The protagonists have an understandable mission in life. One that is so glaringly obvious it's almost a caricature of hopelessness. The antagonists, meanwhile, take on the looming shadow of what the world fears without explaining why. (This does come out before the end of the book, but it takes a long, long time.)
The mix of which of recognizable fairy tale characters across the battle lines is also a bit startling. Especially when their recognizable traits from the familiar stories are used to show them in a vastly different light. I think that's where the missing piece comes into play - the question about why these characters wound up on such a different path from what we've come to know them on.
The pacing in the story was a bit erratic, but not enough to make me want to put the book down. A few places lagged a bit much, and others felt a bit rushed. However, when taken as a whole, the pacing was reminiscent of the original fairy tale or fable the character originated from. As the story built to it's peak, the pacing smoothed out a touch - matching the events, rather than the origin of the characters. This presented an intriguing dichotomy and helped keep me reading until the end.
I've noted how certain other reviewers got a pit picky over certain issues?
Me? All I can say is I base my reviews on how quickly I can to relate to the premise, the setting, and the story itself.
Long story short...I thoroughly enjoyed it, and - without giving the game away - WILL be reading more.
I have to admit that I wasn't sure if I was going to like this novel when I decided to read it. Fairy tales? Me? They're honestly not my bag. Truth be told, I wasn't even that much into Disney when I was a kid! But as it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by Shards of the Glass Slipper.
Labeled as an 'Epic Fairy Tale Fantasy', this book lives up to its billing. It has the epic quest and reluctant chosen one aspect of Lord of the Rings and combines it with the political intrigue and behind the scenes double dealings of Game of Thrones, just using iconic characters that have been around for a LONG long time. And speaking of characters, for me, that's where the book really shines: these aren't your animated Disney archetypes. Mauritsen's imagination is in great evidence here as he makes the characters his own. He really twists and changes up the same ole same ole of the fluffy characters many of us grew up with. Cinderella is dark, evil, and self serving; the embodiment of absolute power corrupting absolutely. Snow White is the general of the dwarven resistance army; she's gruff, strong and melancholy. Goldenhair (aka Goldilocks), has three bears but their back story goes much beyond porridge and comfortable beds. My favorite take on an old standard has to be Little Red Riding hood. I LOVED what he did with the character, but I'm not going to spoil it for you. Let's just say that I was pleasantly surprised by the twist he put on her. I could go on and on about the cast but the review would be entirely too long, but there doesn't seem to be many classics left out of this, and that includes Rabbits with pocket watches, cats with wide grins, and a certain guy who sold a cow for some 'magic' beans, among many others.
I found the plot to be pretty tight overall. It reads like the beginnings of a saga and has the character moments and large battle scenes that are the hallmarks of any type of fantasy.
I did have several issues with the book, none of which were deal breakers, but they're there and in the interest of full disclosure, I have to mention them:
Sometimes the point of view is a little 'loose'. It's told in the third person and, generally when reading a book in this perspective, each scene has one character whose head the reader is invited into. Sometimes in Shards, the point of view character seemed to change from paragraph to paragraph. Shifting points of view is nothing new and it's welcomed when the narrative is told in the third person, but a page break or even a new chapter are usually when those perspectives are changed. While it doesn't make the book confusing, it does make it 'stutter' a bit when you're not quite sure who's eyes you're seeing the world through. Now, I admit that the amount of fairy tales I've read could fit into a thimble, so maybe this is just a style of those types of stories. I'm unsure of that. So, while it could very well just be me, it can stand out in a modern day novel. Once again, not a total deal breaker because more often than not, Mauritsen is clear about who's experiencing what.
While I found it to flow pretty well for the most part, there are a couple points where the pacing gets a little slow; some overly expository dialogues for the most part. It only happens in a few places so once again, nothing major.
Included in the ebook version are some VERY nice 3D digital renderings from the author. There is some fantastic artwork in the book every few chapters, so that's a very nice bonus.
It's obvious that Mauritsen has a great imagination and the ability to convey what he sees in his head to the reader. Despite a few hiccups along the way, I found Shards Of The Glass Slipper to be vivid, well told, and fun. What's more, it's accessible to those who have a working knowledge of the classic fairy tales of old and those who don't know much about them other than what they've seen in cartoons over the years, like me. This is just the beginning of a bigger saga and the ending leaves me very curious as to where he'll go with the next installment. Give this one a shot!