In search of the ultimate story, finding many good ones on my way. Take a look if you want to see what I found so far.
...because she's got nothing on this book.
Yeah, you and your glass slipper can go and turn into a pumpkin. I'm going to read this to my children instead. :)
What is this book about? An awesome retelling of Cinderella's story.
Instead of a fairy good mother we have the ghost of her mother [she's haunting her XD]:
Her mother loved her so much that she swear to protect her little girl forever. But what happens when your love becomes a burden?
"My mother will never stop loving me, so I can never stop lying."
Then we have Maia:
She must not cry, her mother must never know she's sad, because if she does, bad things will happen to those who made her sad. She's an incredible kindhearted character and I loved her boldness and perseverance. The way she fights to free her family of her curse, even if that means her remaining alone until the day she dies. She's not seeking for love, she knows that not only good can come from it.
"Love is madness," I say. "Doesn't everyone agree that you'd do anything, endure anything, to be with the ones you love? So either you're willing to let them use you with any sort of cruelty, so long as they keep you - which makes you a fool - or you're willing to commit any cruelty, so long as you get to keep them - which makes you a monster. Either way, it's madness."
And her 2 stepsisters...
Maia sees both Kore, the older one, and Thea, the younger one, as fools, the first desperate for her mother's love, the second for Maia's. They are not rightfully described by our main heroine who doesn't want to see them more than liabilities and can't wait to get rid of them before her ghost of a mother decides to do something to them. It does not help that their mother, her stepmother, is a heartless, desperate woman that might destroy them all in the end.
I loved the 2 sisters and the fact that they don't remain cardboard secondary characters. :)
Anax, the unconventional prince:
"He doesn't look particularly lordly. Handsome, yes: he has a jet-black hair and a face of aristocratic angles. Square metal glasses frame his narrow dark eyes."
He's not you're average prince that will dance with the most beautiful girl at the ball and fall for her uttermost awesome outside beauty XD. He likes Maia because she's the only one who is honest with him and he is also recovering after the loss of another girl.
Of course it's going to be the "I want him, but I can't have him" type, but I didn't mind, because the execution was flawless and I could totally understand why they fell for each other. He wanted someone honest and she wanted someone who she could be honest with, considering she had to lie and hide her true feeling almost her entire life. I also liked how she let herself believe again in love, bit by bit. :)
What I can't fail to admire is the way Rosamund Hodge constructs her characters, how much kindness they have. And it's not the bad tasting type where the characters are selfless only when it's convenient for the story. In the end, I loved her message, that no one can gain from one person's suffering and even though letting go is hard, sometimes our happiness can be achieved only through change.
An incredible read, just like Cruel Beauty. :)