26 February 2015

Review: The Fairytale Keeper (Book One in the Fairytale Keeper Series) by Andrea Cefalo

* Copy courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours *

It's a pleasure to join Author Andrea Cefalo as she tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Fairytale Keeper, from 16 February - 13 March. The Fairytale Keeper is a young adult historical fairytale re-telling. Here's the blurb from the book.

The Fairytale Keeper by Andrea Cefalo book coverAdelaide’s mother, Katrina, was the finest storyteller in all of Airsbach, a borough in the great city of Cologne, but she left one story untold, that of her daughter, that of Snow White. Snow White was a pet name Adelaide’s mother had given her. It was a name Adelaide hated, until now.

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 vast pit outside the city walls. In an effort to save Katrina’s soul, Adelaide’s father obtains a secret funeral for his wife by bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, pushing Adelaide toward vengeance. When Adelaide realizes that the corruption in Cologne reaches far beyond Soren, the cost of settling scores quickly escalates. 

Avenging the mother she lost may cost Adelaide everything she has left: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life. Seamlessly weaving historical events and Grimm’s fairy tales into a tale of corruption and devotion, The Fairytale Keeper, leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins. The novel paints Medieval Cologne accurately and vividly. The story develops a set of dynamic characters, casting the famous villains, heroes, and damsels of Grimm’s fairy tales into believable medieval lives. Though historically set, The Fairytale Keeper brims with timeless themes of love, loyalty, and the struggle for justice.

My Review
I love fairytale re-tellings, and when I saw the gorgeous cover for The Fairytale Keeper and heard it was an historical fairytale re-telling I couldn't wait to get reading.

I instantly fell in love with Adelaide and her father (a shoe-maker) and each time Adelaide helped her father with the shoe-making process I was transfixed. The tragedy of her mother's passing and cruel treatment by the priest at her funeral service really sets the scene for what is to follow and the period details throughout really added to my enjoyment. The references to fairytales were scattered throughout this YA novel, but I was surprised to find that my interest in the fairytale aspect completely fell away and I was just interested in Adelaide's story. The Fairytale Keeper was a quick and enjoyable read and really felt like a straight up YA historical fiction novel (which of course it is) but without the strong fairytale focus that you find in novels like Bitter Greens.

The Fairytale Keeper is the first in a series and thankfully didn't end on a cliffhanger (I hate that) but as soon as it finished I wondered what will happen to Adelaide in the next phase of her life. To find out though, I'll have to read The Countess' Captive, which I might just do! I just hope there's still some shoemaking in the next novel.

My rating = ****

About the author
Andrea Cefalo_Author
Author Andrea Cefalo
Besides being the award-winning author of The Fairytale Keeper series, Andrea Cefalo is a self-proclaimed medievalist, hopeless bookworm, and social media junkie. She graduated with honors from Winthrop University in 2007 where she studied Medieval art history and children’s literature. The next three books in The Fairytale Keeper series—The Countess’ Captive, The Baseborn Lady, and The Traitor’s Target—will debut in 2015 and 2016. She resides in Greenville, South Carolina—ever perched before her trusty laptop—with her husband and their two border collies.

This giveaway to win a Fairytale Keeper Clutch Purse & $25 Amazon Gift Card has now closed.

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