{Review & Giveaway} THE FAIRYTALE KEEPER by Andrea Cefalo

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony.  And whilst she was sewing and looking out of the window at the snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow.  And the red looked pretty upon the white snow, and she thought to herself, would that I had a child as white as snow, with lips as red as blood, and hair as black as the wood of the window frame.
(pg. 1, US paperback edition)

Read the first chapter for FREE!

If you want a unique version of the fairy tales you grew up loving, look no further than THE FAIRYTALE KEEPER: AVENGING THE QUEEN by Andrea Cefalo.  The first book in the planned four-book series revolves around Adelaide, whose mother nicknamed her Snow White as a child.  The book opens after a deadly plague has taken Adelaide's mother's life, revealing the corruptness of a local priest in Cologne.  Adelaide and her father are appalled by the way she has been treated, even as they are overcome with grief.  They are taken care of by Adelaide's cousin Galadriel, who also lost cherished love ones due to plague.  Galadriel is interesting because she's Cinderella...and on the path to becoming Adelaide's stepmother, which would make her the evil queen in Snow White.  That along intrigued me.  Earlier this year, one of the theories going around about the TV series ONCE UPON A TIME was the thought that the Evil Queen was also Belle from Beauty and the Beast, which would have been a novel idea.  I like seeing the duality of pure good and pure evil in one character.  I can't wait to see where Cefalo takes this idea.

It takes a long time for AVENGING THE QUEEN to get off the ground because there's so much back story leading up to the Snow White tale we all know and love.  Just when it really gets going, we're left waiting for the next book.  I liked the introduction of Adelaide's love interest, Ivo, and will be interested in seeing whether he becomes her True Love or not, since he's certainly no prince.  I also loved the historical feel to this fantasy novel, which to me, always makes a book seem as though it could be true despite its mystical nature.  I also liked the way Cefalo mixed her fairy tales together.

It's both easy and hard to see what fairy tales are being told in AVENGING THE QUEEN.  Many tales that are familiar have both truth and fiction to them, leaving it up to readers to discover what's real and what's been turned into a tale.  The press release states, "Cefalo doesn’t stick to just one of Grimm’s fairy tales in her FAIRYTALE KEEPER series. She supposes the most noted of these stories (Snow White, Cinderella, The Elves and the Shoemaker, etc.) come from one person, a spitfire cobbler’s apprentice and novice story teller living in thirteenth century Germany. 'I want the reader to believe that it’s possible for one person to have come up with all these tales,' say Cefalo."  I can't wait to see the way Cefalo pulls THE FAIRYTALE KEEPER together, since not much was said about the mysterious story teller in the first book.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like this cover a lot.  I wish more indie titles looked this good!  I love the coloring and the way the girl stands out with her dark hood.  The red of the banner behind the book's title perfectly matches the model's lips.  This cover has a lot of atmosphere, and sucks me right in.  When I saw it in the query letter, I knew I wanted to read this!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Andrea Cefalo
Release Date: Out June 01, 2012
Publisher: Scarlet Primrose Press
Received: Received for Review


Snow White was a pet name her mother had given her, but her mother’s dead now. Adelaide hates that name anyway. 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 large pit outside of the city walls. Adelaide’s father is determined to obtain a funeral for his wife, but that requires bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. When Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, he pushes Adelaide to her breaking point, but if she seeks justice against the cruel priest, she risks sacrificing everything: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life.

Want to win a copy of the novel 

Misty at The Book Rat, our host for Fairy Tale Fortnight, is giving a copy away!  Visit her blog post to find out how to enter to win! (And check out the awesome interview Misty did with Andrea while you're at it!) 

Andrea has also generous signed TEN bookmarks to give away on A Backwards Story!  Enter now!


  1. Thanks for the great review!!!! I love retelling of fairy tales so I think that I would really enjoy this book!!!!


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