The Stepsister Scheme (PRINCESS NOVELS) - Jim C. Hines

Very enjoyable girl power take on classic characters.

 

This isn't a retelling, but the continuing adventures of Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty as they become powerful warriors and witches after their own stories end. I'm not sure if I would classify it as YA, though I see it on a lot of YA shelves. It uses the Grimm's back stories, (crows pecking eyes, cut heels, and rape,) and there's a lot of flirting and allusions to sex. But I wouldn't say it's unfit for teens either. It's just more mature than the cutesy cover would indicate. 

 

I did have some issues with the writing, namely words being repeated in a short span, particularly the princesses' names. I know there's three of them, so saying "she" or "her" can be confusing, but there must be a way to add variety.

 

I really liked Talia and Snow and I'm hoping for more focus on them in future books, especially Talia, as her "gifts" were a little ill-defined, (so, does she not sleep at all now?) Danielle rubbed me the wrong way, though she did develop over the course of the book. (Part of that is my utter hated of baby storylines. Please let this be the end of that.) She's resourceful, but the constant refrain of, "my husband!" "my son!" "my husband!" really grated. 

 

The plot was fun; the settings were interesting and varied. Each girl had a unique voice and motivations, so despite some problems, I'm looking forward to picking up the next in the series, (evil little mermaid?!)