Book Reviews

Of Cinder and Madness by Nicole Zoltack

My edition: Kindle
Series: Once Upon a Darkened Night #1
Genre: Fairytale retelling, YA
Rating: 4 stars


The stories about her have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, she is beautiful, with wavy blond hair and big, blue eyes and flawless skin, but her charming facade is a lie, a mask, a deceit.

Yes, Yes, I’m sure you think me merely jealous. I’m not. I’m the victim, and I can prove it.

You see, Eleonore deserves to be locked away. My, she even deserves to be killed!

This gripping retelling of a much-loved fairy tale will make you question all you think you know about the girl who steals away to a ball and leaves behind a slipper.


I normally tend to stay away from Cinderella retellings. I’m not a big Cinderella fan. Most the time I am reading a retelling because it is part of a series. That is what I had to do with this one. I did not expect to get a Cinderella retelling through the stepmother’s eyes.

The story goes back and forth between past and present. The stepmother tells of the time before she married Jacques leading up to the present and the present of being a widow and having to learn to deal with her new stepdaughter. She tells of her encounters of Eleonore (Cinderella).

If you like a darker fairy tale this is for you. Eleonore has a power and she uses it for harm instead of good. There is a HEA for everyone but it is not the same one we grew up knowing.

I loved seeing from the stepmother’s eyes. The guilt she felt for not treating Eleonore the same and the fear she had once her power started to grow. I loved it all.

Best part about this retelling is that even though Eleonore lost a slipper the prince didn’t go around to ever home and use the slipper to find a girl he danced with.

On to the next retelling which I think is one of my favorites, Sleeping Beauty.