'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Review: Stepsister

We all know Cinderella and her happy ever after story, but what about her step sisters Isabelle and Octavia? 

Jennifer Donnelly’s novel explores the youngest step sister Isabelle’s story. Raising the question of what happens when the bullies become the victims, can mean girls really change?

A gorgeous man known as Chance visits the Three 
Fates to make a deal on a certain map he has discovered. 

This map outlines a person’s fate, their destiny and the choices that can lead to a better life or result in disastrous consequences.

The map Chance holds belongs to a plain, selfish, mean and uninteresting girl – Isabelle de la Paume. 

The Fates are not convinced he can change this girl and her fate at present looks painful, frightening and uncertain. The Fates show Chance how his choices and decisions have led to this moment and the fate of Isabelle’s life is now part of these repercussions – they feel it is too late to save her.

Chance thinks otherwise and with Isabelle’s help he might be able to right those wrongs and save Isabelle’s future. With that in mind Chance and the Three Fates make a deal – at stake is Isabelle.

At the height of the glass slipper search, Isabelle and Octavia, heavily influenced by their mother tried almost anything to successfully fit into the glass slipper left at the ball at the stroke of midnight. Isabelle went as far as cutting off her toes just, so it would fit, instead she crippled herself. After Cinderella’s fairytale wedding to the Prince, the sisters along with their mother were shunned by the entire kingdom.

Food prices instantly went up when they entered a shop, objects were thrown at them, no one would help them on the farm and their mother lost her mind. Starving, the sisters scrape together whatever they can to survive. Then one night their mansion burns down, leaving them with nothing.

Tanquill, the Fairy Queen visits Isabelle and instructs her to find the lost pieces of her heart if she wants to find her soul. Isabelle feels she has nothing left to lose and so begins a transformation. New arrivals in town, Chance and one of the Three Fates both cross Isabelle’s path throwing obstacles and choices in her way in an attempt to win their deal.

However, there is much more at stake, the Kingdom of Saint-Michel is under the threat of war from the Warlord Volkmar. His intends to slaughter the entire kingdom in his pursuit for power and to rule France.

As Isabelle tries to mend the pieces of her heart, her confidence grows. She defends both her sister Octavia from thieves and an old woman she meets on the road (one of the Three Fates). Soon Isabelle is raising an army to fight Volkmar – can she save the Kingdom, Paris and her own destiny and prove she can really change for the better?

Title: Stepsister
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Hot Key Books, $19.99
Publication Date: 15 May 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN:  9781471407970
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction