Have you ever wished that Cinderella, as a character, had more substance, dimension and grit? Well, author Megan Morrison’s retelling of this classic fairy tale, Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella, second in the Tyme series, fits the bill. Ella is far from the typical, privileged princess, making this very original fairy tale retelling refreshing and unique. Morrison has created an imaginative land of Tyme and the city of Quintessential is just that, in the eyes of the privileged that live in the Blue Kingdom. However, Ella doesn’t feel like she quite fits in. She comes from a quite different life and feels like she now should do something for those suffering like she once did. This doesn’t do much for her popularity among the elite she now has to associate with at boarding school, but it does make her passionate and somewhat revolutionary. That also makes her friendship with Dash, the prince, all the more complicated.
Disenchanted is told from the perspective of three players in the fairy tale: Ella (as in Cinderella), Dash (as in Prince Charming), and Serge (as in a fairy godfather). This gives this novel a sense of depth and better developed characters. There is also a fun play on words when it comes to the title, as each of the three characters is dealing with some sort of disenchantment when it comes to their life, which is the underlying theme of the novel. The novel itself is not broken up into chapters, but rather switches back and forth among the three perspectives, making it hard to put the novel down as there is no good stopping point because the plot keeps moving along at a brisk pace.
Disenchanted is an exciting addition to the Tyme series and is perfect for those readers who have grown up with fairy tale re-tellings, but are ready for something a little more complex and with a little more depth. Even Ella’s relationship with her step-mother has more to it than your typical fairy tale allows, making that relationship an interesting side plot. It is the second in the series, but does stand alone rather well as the back story (there isn’t that much) is retold. And while the two stories take place in the same land, Disenchanted and Grounded are very different novels. However, Rapunzel and Jack do make an appearance in Disenchanted. If you are looking for an exciting adventure, a little fairy tale romance, and a heroine with grit, check out Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella.
See the review of the first book in the series: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic Press (A Scholastic Imprint)
Violence/Gore: Person kicks a maid as she buttons up her boot; character threatens someone with a whipping; account of an illness, which causes people to cough up blood and eventually die, spreading through some factories; guard backhands a person across the jaw; guards grab a character by the wrists in order to detain them; Secondhand account of kids working in factories getting hit when they do something wrong; character says he would have hit a certain person if they had been present; character slapped in the face by another; 2 accounts told of very young kids being tied to chairs and being forced to work; 10 page account (told from 3 different perspectives) of a deadly fire of a factory where people died because they were either locked in rooms or people had jumped out of windows because there were no available exits; brief account of boy finding his dead brother after the fire; guards grab a character, tie her up and carry her off; character restrained forcibly by guards; description given of girl’s face that is covered with a disease making it a puss and sore covered that has become infected.
Sex/Nudity: Extramarital affair mentioned 3 times (no details given); brief mention of boy saying he is besotted with another boy and wishing he could dance with him; boy recalls having kissed a girl; girl puts her head on the shoulder of the boy she is dancing with; girl kisses boy on the cheek; boy and girl hold hands (mentioned 10 different times); girl and boy kiss (mentioned 7 different times); boy brushes hair out of girl’s face and caresses her cheek; girl plays with boy’s hair; boy hugs girl (2 accounts).
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of parent, plight of the poor working class, infidelity, homosexuality, disease.
Alcohol / Drug Use: