“Is anything ever worth doing truly safe?”
The fairy godmother’s enticing words perfectly sum up the tone of Cursed Beauty by Dorian Tsukioka. This story is a fairy tale retelling with very unique twists on the original Cinderella story, creating a darker tale filled with romance and treachery.
Adelaide has lived her entire life cursed with a birthmark that makes people shy away. When an invitation to the Elder Prince’s ball falls in her lap, she knows attending would only cause people to shun her more.
A fairy godmother feels her pain and offers her a pair of glass slippers that not only transform her ragged dress to an elegant gown, but also removes the mark that covers her face. However, Adelaide soon learns that the beautiful slippers can steal away more than just her birthmark, leaving her cursed in a far worse way.
This retelling of the classic Cinderella story will resound with readers of young adult fiction who love paranormal fantasy, fairy tales, and a splash of romance.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of fairy retellings but I really enjoyed this one. I think the fairy godmother as the villain was a unique take on the classic Cinderella story. The main character, Adelaide, was the perfect protagonist with a strong moral compass and bottomless compassion. I loved how complex the two princes were, each was uniquely lovable. I also thought the truth revealed about the stepmother was a great connection to the original story but with a distinctive twist.
This story was a short read but very well-written. I got lost in it and was surprised at how well I felt I knew the characters even though it wasn’t very long. The plot was well-developed and I wasn’t expecting the twists at the end of the story. The pacing was great even though it was a quick read and really there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about it. It could only be more enjoyable if the story was beefed up a bit more, making it a full-length novel.
Tsukioka shows great promise as a writer for Young Adult fantasy. She brings a fresh perspective with her fairy tale retelling, one I wasn’t expecting. I would definitely be interested in reading more from her.
STARS: 4 out of 5
Thank you Dorian Tsukioka for a copy in exchange for an honest review!