Author: Cameron Dokey
Genre: Fantasy YA
First Published: 2007
Page Count: 193
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 3/5 Stars
It’s fun as a standalone book, but it doesn’t fly as a great retelling of Cinderella.
*Updated Villain *Entertaining Story
*Too different from the original Cinderella
“Remember that yours is not the only heart that may be wishing for love.” Cendrillon and a boy named Raoul, who her father mysteriously brings home 2 weeks after her birth without any explanation as to who he is, have learned to enjoy a simple life in a beautiful stone mansion in the countryside. However, when Cendrillon’s father remarries, their world is changed with the arrival of Cendrillon’s new stepmother and stepsisters. Add an unexpected invitation to the prince’s ball, and Cendrillon and Raoul’s lives become completely altered as they discover who they really are.
This is another of the fairytale retelling books I had recently added to my book collection and, still riding the high of seeing Disney’s gorgeous live action version of Cinderella, I thought this seemed an appropriate next read. I was very intrigued by Dokey’s new spin on this classic tale. Unlike all the ones you may know, this story puts a lot of focus on Cendrillon’s father. Not only is Cinderella’s father virtually nonexistent in the usual tales, he is definitely never portrayed as the villain either. These twists to the story were a unique update to the old tale that made me want to keep reading.
Like with the last Dokey book I read, I began to get a bit antsy waiting for the well-known aspects of the original story to pop up in the book. It’s not until well past the halfway mark of the book that we even hear mention of the prince’s ball and this is where I think the book fails. A retelling is all well and good, but if you don’t start to see the notable characteristics that made the original so lovable, your interest might wane or you might struggle to see much connection between the retelling and the original. As described in the latter example, I started to feel that this story, while interesting, could not be considered a strong retelling, if one at all. The famous objects (pumpkin carriage, glass slippers, etc) are all present, but they feel like afterthoughts. There is not much of a ball to speak of, and I couldn’t wrap my head around Cendrillon’s stepmother/ step sisters and their updated roles in her life. Though magic is hinted at in the story, I really didn’t feel the magic the classic story so easily conjures.
I still plan on reading the rest of Dokey’s fairytale retellings. Even if they fail to match the charm of the original, it’s still a treat to see another person’s take on the story. It’s a short, fun read, but I will say, with so much focus on Cinderella right now in pop culture, there are many better retellings of the story that one could enjoy instead of this book.