At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.” When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella’s life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you’ll ever read.
This is an awesome re-telling by Gail Carson Levine. I genuinely loved Ella and Char and the adventures they went through. A very nice, quick, heartwarming, slice-of-life story. Ella was beautifully written and I was really happy as I got to watch her grow and surpass the boundaries her curse set down before her.
There was also a lot of imagination in this story that I really appreciated and I thought was cool as Gail Carson Levine led Ella through the story and placed events down in front of her so Ella would learn to deal with her gift. A well-written, impressive story. I think this is one of the best, if not the best Cinderella story I’ve ever read.
The magic in this book really adds a nice touch to the story and I appreciated how Gail Carson Levine found a way to narrate Ella without losing her character, and also being able to tell what the other characters were thinking throughout the story.
Just a word to the wise, the movie doesn’t do this book ANY JUSTICE. I can see why people didn’t like it when it came out. Don’t mess with this story. Just leave it as is.
pg count for the paperback: 240
pg count for the