Author: Nicole Ciacchella/ Elizabeth Darcy
Release Date: October 23rd, 2014
Publisher: Sweenix Rising Books
Pages: 348 (ebook)
Genre: YA | Fairytale Retelling | Romance
Series: Fairytale Collection #3
Read: from January 16 to 21, 2015
Source & Shelf: Sent by Author | Kobo
A Rebel Leade
Lucinda Morain is a servant in her own home, the object of her noble stepmother’s cruelty. But pretending to bow to her stepmother suits Lucinda’s purposes. As an operative for the Ashes, a rebel organization determined to overthrow the oppressive nobility, her lowly status provides her with the perfect cover. When she is chosen to lead the Ashes, Lucinda is overwhelmed and stunned. Can she handle the responsibility of making the life and death decisions?
A Prince in Disguise
Benicio dei Amaria, heir to the throne of Falloria, is desperate to escape the strictures of palace life. Trading places with his double, he adopts an assumed identity to seize one last taste of freedom before he’s forced to appease the nobles by choosing a bride. Then Lucinda saves his life, opening his eyes. Long uneasy with the hold the nobility has over his father, and drawn to Lucinda’s passion for her cause, Benicio can no longer ignore what the peasants have suffered at the nobles’ hands.
Taking the biggest risk of his life, Benicio provides the Ashes with secret information in the hopes of gaining them as allies. But what will happen if they uncover his true identity?
Lucinda knows he’s hiding something from her, but she’s hiding something from him too: she’s the Cinder, the nobles’ and king’s most wanted enemy.
Can they learn to trust one another before it’s too late to save Falloria?
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author, Nicole Ciacchella, herself in exchange for an honest review.
As you all are aware, Nicole Ciacchella has proven herself a genius when it comes to write fairytale re-telling. She picks up the already known folklore and transforms it into such an amazing and detailed tale with amazing characters and a plot with so many twists and turns you simply fall in love with it. However, from the three books I’ve read from her Fairytale Collection (the others being The Eye of the Beholder and Asleep), this was my least favourite. Still, she managed to recreate Cinderella’s story amazingly.
This Cinderella story is far more complex than the original one. Here Lucinda is the leader of a rebel group against the authority of the nobles who make their life miserable. And miserable is her life: since her father’s death she has been cleaning and doing all her stepmother’s biddings. However, Nicole centred this character more around the rebels instead of the evil stepmother relationship. There wasn’t really any connection between these two characters and there wasn’t much scenes between them.
Benicio has nothing to do with the prince we are all used to read/see on any Cinderella story. He is a prince in disguise within the Ashes, the rebels. He slowly learns the truth about his people and slowly begins to realise how blind and spoiled he has been during all his life. With Lucinda and the Ashes’ help, he plans to change his kingdom.
For me the whole Cinderella background was blurred with the amount of original ideas Nicole had for this book. All of them were greatly developed and she managed to use the fairytale’s background as a nice concept for the kick-off this book. But somehow it lacked that fairytale-ish vibe her other books had, that obvious bridge between her own original concept and the folklore.
And this will pain me to admit but there was a moment when I simply wanted the story to end because it was simply a continuous loop of Lucinda’s struggle against the nobles. The relation between her and Benicio took a long time to develop and when it did, I felt it was too rushed, something I’m not used to on Nicole’s books.
Apart from those negative points mentioned above, this is yet another great book by Nicole Ciacchella. The world building was deliciously made, the characters felt real and with personality, the plot complex and thoughtful. Overall, this is yet another great fantasy romance.
I will continue to be utterly eager to read more of her retellings and to see where how far she can go with her imagination. Because she certainly deserves more love from readers. I would love to read a retelling based on Snow White or Rapunzel written by this awesome author.
PS: how cool is the cover designed by the lovely Erica Crouch?! 😉