Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon
In this loose adaptation of Cinderella, Cinder and Ella are sisters. After their father abandons the family, it's up to the two middle sisters to hold everything together. Cinder is the more helpful of the two, and she acts as the good little maid. Ella is less agreeable. She tries to be helpful, but cannot tolerate her older sister's shallowness and her younger sister's spoiled nature. When Cinder gets a job at the castle, she expects Ella to pick up her slack at home. After her mother forgets she exists, Ella takes the opportunity to embark out on her own for the first time in her life.
Cinder becomes upset at Ella's disappearance. A kind knight notices the girl's distress and asks the Prince's permission to seek out Ella. It's fairly common knowledge that the Prince is an evil, evil man. So, there's every reason to be suspicious that the Prince gives permission to find Ella, sends two of his own men along, and also has his own evil, evil reasons for finding the girl.
Altogether, Cinder and Ella is a respectable retelling. Ella was definitely my favorite sister because she wasn't as easy to step all over. She's a girl who knows how to push back. I also love her romance with her brave knight Tanner. He had a tendency to drop her and become incredibly accident prone around her, and she was absolutely vicious towards him. It's adorable. There aren't any fairy godmothers, glass slippers, or pumpkin coaches. But we do have magical guardian trees and an evil prince. That counts, right?
I read an advanced copy of Cinder and Ella through Netgalley. It will be published November 9th.