"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Review: The Fairytale Keeper, Avenging the Queen by Andrea Cefalo

by Andrea Cefalo 
Release Date: June 1st, 2012 
Publisher: Scarlet Primrose Press
Book Source: ARC
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction and Romance

(from Goodreads) 

"Snow White was a pet name her mother had given her, but her mother’s dead now. 

Adelaide hates that name anyway. 

A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without Last Rites and the dead are dumped in a large pit outside of the city walls. Adelaide’s father is determined to obtain a funeral for his wife, but that requires bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. 

When Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, he pushes Adelaide to her breaking point, but if she seeks justice against the cruel priest, she risks sacrificing everything: 
her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life."

The Fairytale Keeper series is definitely one that I am going to be following. Although, I do have some mixed feelings with the first book, in the end, I truly did enjoy it. 
Andrea Cefalo's writing flows quite nicely. The entire setting is quite pictures-tic and beautiful. The storytelling is easy to follow and enjoyable. And I immediately liked Adelaide, who her mother nicknamed Snow White because... "would that I had a child as white as snow, with lips as red as blood, and hair as black as the wood of the window frame."  

The book truly sticks to the summary - Adelaide's mother passes away from 'the fever' and because of the high number of deaths in the area, it is difficult to have a proper burial. The most disrespectful and saddest events take place during at this moment, which then leads to Adelaide and their city seeking justice against the corrupt 'government'. 
Adelaide's father, Ansel, is a shoemaker. And Galadriel, Adelaide's mother's cousin, is our Cinderella in this series. We all know what Cinderella went through before she became a princess, and in this book, her story just gets sadder. And then we have Ivo, Adelaide's childhood best friend turn boyfriend (fiance?). He is everything I expected him to be and more for Adelaide. 

Now, I do have an issue with this book, and it has to do with its cover. 
 First, part of the title, "Avenging the Queen" - what Queen? I know that this book is part of a series, but there is no mention of any type of queen at all in this first book. It's a bit misleading; I was under the assumption that there was going to be a "wicked queen" in this story, and sadly, there was not. 
And also, the caption above the title, "Many called her Snow White, but few knew her as..." - 
no one called her Snow White. Adelaide mentions only her mother calling her Snow White, and how much she hated that her mother did call her that numerous times. But, she never mentions anyone else saying it and no others ever call her Snow White at any point of the story, not even her father.
Perhaps, and I really hope, these are two things that will be addressed in future books/stories to the series. 

(from Goodreads)

Andrea Cefalo is a bit of a roamer, growing up in New Hampshire, Maryland, and South Carolina, though the bulk of her family lives in Maine. She dreamed of a career in art restoration, but somehow ended up becoming a grade school teacher before realizing she really wanted to be a writer. She taught for three years and then decided to finish The Fairytale Keeper series and pursue her new found ambition. Andrea lives with her husband and two border collies in Greenville, South Carolina, which she calls home, at least for now.

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