Review: Cinderella and the Colonel

Cinderella and the Colonel

Although I enjoyed K. M. Shea’s previous novels, I had some nitpicks with them-overused cliches or stock characters, abrupt endings. However, Cinderella and the Colonel completely bypassed those and told an immensely entertaining story.

Shea’s take on the Cinderella story places Cinderella as the duchess of a war-torn country which was invaded by a neighboring country a few years earlier; Cinderella’s love interest is a Colonel of the invading army, which sets the scene for some friction between the two characters (as well as some hilarious scenes in the early stages of their acquaintance).

Cinderella’s not your average Strong Female Character: she’s practical, resourceful, and stubbornly loyal, but not perfect, and she’s got a working brain. Her relationship with the colonel is entirely different from any I’ve seen in another Cinderella retelling: at first, Cinderella reacts with anger, concern, and fear at the Colonel’s interest in her, which, given his position of power in an invading army and her position as a vulnerable young woman, was perfect. I, as a reader, empathized with Cinderella, so I felt uncomfortable with the colonel as a character at first, but towards the end of the novel some information is discovered that does a lot to explain the source of his interest in her which really made things click. They don’t instantly fall in love, which I thought worked well, but their relationship does quickly turn towards the amusing (I literally laughed out loud at their first ‘date’), and the friendship between them is fun to watch.

The driving force behind most of Cinderella’s actions are some massive financial problems, something kept from the original tale which really worked well here, and I just have to say that I thought the way these were resolved in the end was just fantastic. The resolution was definitely not one you’d see in an average fantasy/fairy tale retelling, and it made me love the novel all that much more for it.

Cinderella and the Colonel did have one weak spot, which was the integration of the magical aspects of the story. I felt that the characters were too far removed from the magic earlier on in the story to just suddenly have it appear later on, and I felt that the ball and the fairy godmother bits were a bit superfluous. However, these weren’t enough to keep me from enjoying the novel at all. I also wish we could have seen more of some of the minor characters, such as Cinderella’s friend, as I thought she’d play a larger role due to their introductions or some scenes they were in.

Apart from those rather minor quibbles, however, Cinderella and the Colonel is a sweet and entertaining novel with a likable heroine. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys clean romances and humor in their fairy tales.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kitty
    Jan 02, 2015 @ 21:56:27

    Hi Belinda! This is K.M. Shea and I wanted to say thank your for posting such a thoughtful and detailed review for Cinderella and the Colonel and Princess Ahira (yes I found that one too πŸ™‚ ). I went ahead and added links to both of the reviews on my blog book pages. Thanks again!


    • belinda h. saavedra
      Jan 04, 2015 @ 22:57:42

      Happy to! I love reccing books I enjoy, and I seriously loved this one. I’m looking forward to your next books (especially your next Arthur installment, whenever you’re able to get to it :D). I’m astounded at how prolific you are.


    • belinda h. saavedra
      Jan 04, 2015 @ 23:00:41

      …and I just caught up on your blog and read about Embark!!! That is so awesome!


      • Kitty
        Jan 05, 2015 @ 10:58:34

        Hah-hah, yes, the next King Arthurs book is on deck! I’m editing it today–Myrrhlynn got the coverart to me last night. I’m hoping for two weeks of editing and then it will be out! πŸ˜€

  2. Samantha May
    Feb 28, 2015 @ 02:24:45

    I loved this book!!! However, I thought that the lack of magic in the beginning was a good thing…..there needs to be SOME people who aren’t too influenced by it to make the story more interesting!! (-;


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