Page Count 400
Publication date August 2020/ Publisher Bloomsbury
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . .
200 years after the death of Cinderella, King Manford has taken the throne and rules over the women of Lille with an iron fist.
At 16 every girl must attend the annual ball to be claimed by a man. After 3 attempts they become forfeit and exiled… or do they?
What I love about this book is how expertly Bayron has created a magical, fantasy retelling and woven such important societal themes throughout. The story is enthralling and a wonderfully unique twist on a familiar tale with some fantastic surprises in store.
The magic and mystery balances with important themes to make CiD a call to action that doesn’t push an agenda so hard as to detract from the enjoyment of reading.
CID carefully handles homophobia and Erin’s refusal of her sexuality very, very well. It was heart aching to read Sophia’s fear of rejection and punishment for being a lesbian, knowing this must be how so many live their lives right now in 2020. Whilst I often read books with LGBTQ characters, this is the first I’ve read with a first person perspective on the range of reactions; acceptance, ignorance, pity, denial, celebration. All and more are encountered by Sophia providing a stark reminder that no matter how progressive we think we’ve become, these attitudes are still common today.
Bayron also takes on domestic violence, imprisonment, human trafficking with an unflinching honesty and wraps it up in a story of female empowerment and heroism from a POC main character and an ending we’d expect from a fairytale.
A story full of hardship with just enough affection and human decency to uplift its audience whilst maintaining lessons in morality.
The writing keeps a perfect pace and gifts us beautiful world building on our journey with Sophia and Constance to smash the patriarchy.