Friday, March 11, 2022

You Should Absolutely Read Cinderella Must Die

Good morning, everyone! So, this week's post was originally going to be about how I'd just finished reading Discworld after actual years and was going to spotlight my favorite books in the series. The one problem? I didn't finish the series this week like I thought I would. (Blame Snuff — it's a much thicker tome than I realized.) Instead, I'm going to spotlight a different book I just recently read: W.R. Gingell's latest release, Cinderella Must Die. Which, let me tell you up front, is an absolutely delightful romp of a fairy tale murder mystery. Intrigued? Good, let's go.

You Should Absolutely Read Cinderella Must Die

  1. Because Cinderella + murder mystery is the combo you never knew you needed. I mean, I'm a big fan of just about any blend of fairy tale and mystery (which should be a surprise to no one), but Cinderella as a murder mystery? With the stepsisters trying to clear their names before they can be officially accused as the murderers? It works so well, y'all. It's fabulous, and it's a very well-put-together mystery (also no surprise, since Gingell wrote a whole series of urban fantasy mysteries that are also awesome).
  2. It's the first roles-reversed/villainous retelling that's really caught my interest and carried through. Villain/hero swaps for fairytales are an interesting concept — I have ideas about writing some myself in the future. But the ones I've read so far tend to be . . . not what they could be, and the good ones aren't widely available. But Gingell handles both Cinderella-as-villain and stepsisters-as-protagonists very well and makes it convincing. Plus, it's not super dark, as I get the impression a lot of roles-reversed stories are — honestly, it's a very fun read.
  3. Jane and Charlie are an excellent sister pair. They come off as very realistic siblings — the kind who love each other have each other's back without question, but who also don't mind teasing each other. They actually remind me (in the best ways) of Azalea and Bramble from Heather Dixon's Entwined, which is awesome. They're clever and persistent and loyal and just excellent characters to spend the narrative with.
  4. The rest of the characters are also awesome. I can't list them all because spoilers, but I did very much enjoy getting to know them and seeing their interactions with the sisters. Some of them — Candace in particular — I'd rather like to see get their own spinoff. I will say that Harvey was rather annoying for a lot of the book, but, I mean, there was a reason for it.
  5. There's a very clever use of magic in here, and I can't say what it is, but I really love it. I wish I'd thought of it first. Yeah. Any other details will be spoilers, so let's leave it at the fact that Gingell did something very interesting and it makes for a better plot and some very good, well-handled themes.

Have you read Cinderella Must Die? If so, what's your favorite thing about the book? If not, do you want to read it? Please tell me in the comments!

(On a side note: W.R. Gingell just announced her next book, Castle and Key, which is a Bluebeard retelling, and — look, I am magnificently hyped. It sounds like it's going to be very much in the vein of Masque, which is the book that made me fall in love with Gingell's writing, and long story short, I am going to be so happy come July.)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Okay, this is the second time you've convinced me to read a W.R. Gingell book!

    I haven't done it yet, but I will. This sounds SO unique and inventive.

    1. YESSSSSSSS. Those are words I like to hear. So excited that you're going to get to enjoy this bit of awesomeness too!

  2. Oooh I read Cinderella Must Die as the blog serial, so it's really cool to see your post!

    You make a very good point with the villainous retelling comment! Most villain retellings I've seen seem to be "but... he's just.... misunderstood..... trauma made him do it!" Whatever, but that still doesn't make the villain not evil. This one definitely does well by setting up, right from the get-go, that the stepsisters are not evil, which really helped me to get invested as I don't like evil MCs xD And yes, as sisters, Jane and Charlie are AMAZINGLY and refreshingly fun and realistic.

    And #5... wasn't that a brilliant element, plot-wise! and for the characters, too.

    1. I read the first few chapters as blog serial, but then I couldn't keep up month to month. *shrugs*

      EXACTLY. Evil MCs are overrated, as are having all the villains be just "misunderstood." In CMD, the villains are evil, and a very familiar form of evil at that, just bolstered with magic and such.

      STORMS YES. So much good character stuff out of that.


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