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3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
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on 8 July 2016
So, I thought I'd give this a go, as the premise is a nice one, subverting the patriarchal and sexist tropes of fairy tales. It's ... okay. Not better than that. It's inventive enough, but I found the writing wooden and the characterisation clunky. With regard to the writing, for the first few chapters my assumption was that the book must be aimed at a reading age of the average ten-year-old (quite a lot of the humour is at this level, too), but the content of later chapters makes it clear that the target age range is upper-YA. And as for the characterisation, it's all very well to discard the princess tropes, but I'd hoped they would be replaced by something more interesting than another set of tired, off-the-peg tropes. There's the Feisty One Who Badly Conceals A Secret Vulnerability; there's the Sexually Liberated One; and there's the Everygirl Who Discovers She Can Do More Than She Thought. None of them was given enough depth or subtlety to make them work other than as puppets at the service of the Author's Big Idea. It's good to see heroines having real agency in their stories, but this author is either trying too hard, or not hard enough. You can see the nuts and bolts.
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on 8 April 2009
I found the plot a little too much stressed on the issue of being contrary to happy ending. Yes, it is an interesting twist, but... I would like to see much of the prince in distress in the book: the poor one is just a reason for the adventure - he does not seem a real person! There's almost nothing about him in the book: we don't know his character, if he's likable, if he's intelligent... we just know that his princess loves him!
The funny part of the story are the personalities of the three princesses. Their nick names are great and I really liked them. The Mother Queen was also a "tough girl".
The story is nothing special... a quest-style story full of strange characters (like the troll... with a lot of hair!).
It seems to me that the story was a once-upon-a-time-chicklit.
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on 13 May 2009
A fun, fantasy read that takes three well know princess charetsr and completely turns them around. Talia(sleeping beauty) is a martial arts master, Snow(Snow White) is a powerful sorceress with many of her mother's gifts, and Daniella(Cinderella) is about to embark on her happily ever after life with her prince.
However, her stepsisters return, having dablled in black magic to call up help to gain their revenge, and kidnap the prince. They take him into fairyland, and Daniella, with help of the Queen's secret service(Talia and Snow) must save him before it's too late...
I loved how this book incorporated several versions of the known and less known variants of the fairytales for example, Sleeping Beauty which has a very dark story in the 15th Italian variant.
Overall, great if you love fairytale retelings and heroines that don't conform to stereotypes.
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on 18 December 2013
I bought this to take on holiday it was hard to get in to, I read a lot of fairy tale te-telling but is was extremely slow I gave up reading it half way, when I got back I just deleted it from my kindle I was a bit upset about this cause I paid £4.some thing for this book after reading good reviews but cause it was over there time limit for sending it back I was never going to finish it so got rid to make more room.
Hope this is helpful.
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on 31 May 2012
The light hearted tone lulls you into not expecting much more than a fun adventure, and while it definitely is that, there is real heart in the book. You end up loving all the characters for different things and at the start Danielle did have the tendency to come off as the boring 'straight man' of the group but she soon grows on you and watching her find her place in the Snow/Talia dynamic is really satisfying.

Definitely a good start to the series and just having finished the sequel can thoroughly recommend it.
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on 20 February 2009
An excellent twist to the Happily Ever After. It's Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White as you've never seen them before and this time, it's the dashing Prince that's in distress.

Cleverly thought out and funny to boot, I loved The Stepsister Scheme and can't wait for The Mermaid's Madness (out October 2009).
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on 27 December 2012
bought as a present for one of my daughters who so far has not managed to put it down since opening it on christmas day
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on 31 March 2011
Both the characters, and the world is quite botched. For example, the two most bad arse agents of the queen survive the first two encounters only through pure luck. One of them continuously scolding the third protagonist for being careless just makes this look even more odd.

It seems, that the author doesn't have any ideas how swords are used. Neither he has any experience with brawling. So his attempts to describe a master swordswoman is really sad. Especially when the forementioned master swordswomen gives advice to somebody. (Best to attack the neck ... It is a sword, that can cut flesh and bone for crissake)

Also, I consider paying with kisses for a service a form of prostitution. So the protagonists are not exactly role models either.
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