Review: Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

Cinder and Ella

After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.

I've always been a fan of fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, with some of my favorite authors being the likes of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley and Zoe Marriott, and I decided to read Cinder and  Ella simply because I felt the urge for something fresh and I had no books by these authors that i haven't yet read. So to be honest, I didn't really have any expectations set for this book.

Which is good, because if I had set standards, this book may not have reached them, and that way I wouldn't really have noticed the magic of this book.

The narrative of this book totally reminds me of a fairytale right out of Hans Christian Anderson story book and that is what I absolutely adored about this book. The story telling is simple and yet so beautiful, which, I suppose, makes up for the slow pacing that most fairytales seem to have.

The story was original, from the title, you may think it was pretty much a straight retelling of Cinderella, with two characters instead, but there are a lot of changes, making this almost unrecognisable as the fairytale we know and love. The handsome prince is a bad guy, though Cinder does fall for him, there are no glass slippers and the story basically revolves around Ella's journey to save her sister and father from the grips of the evil prince, who has some evil dark magic stuff.

The other characters are charming too, from Tanner, a handsome and clumsy knight who falls for Ella, to the King and Queen and even to Cinder and Ella's spoilt sister Beatrice, who becomes a nicer person later in the story. There wasn't a great deal of character development on anyones part except from Ella's, which I think would have made the story and relationships a little more interesting, though I did adore the chivalrous Tanner and his feelings for Ella which were sweet!

And in the tradition of stories from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, the ending isn't one hundred percent happy, which pleased me very much, as I like an ending to be a little bittersweet.

While this book isn't on the same level as some of my favorite retellings, it is definitely a fresh and sweet take on the Cinderella story that was lovely refreshing read after more dark young adult books.

Overall rating: C

Book released November 18th 2011
Book received as an eGalley in exchange for an honest review

Other books from this author:
Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem


  1. I wasn't sure what to make of this one when I read the blurb and looked at the cover.

    Thanks for the review, it's the first one I've read about this book.

  2. I also wondered because the title would make it sounds like a retelling of Cinderella, but the synopsis wasn't quite sounding like the story. It does sound like an interesting retake on the story and I will keep it on my TBR list.

  3. I love fairy tale retellings so this one sounds great and very original! I might request it on NetGalley if it's still available. Thanks for the great review :)


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