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Fantasy Friday: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of Dhonielle Clayton and Melissa Albert.

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…

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

Amazon Link: Cinderella is Dead

Author: Kalynn Bayron

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars

This book doesn’t pull any punches as a feminist fairy tale reimagining. In this kingdom, the story of Cinderella is used as propaganda to control all the women (and any men who want to defy the patriarchy). But the truth about Cinderella, her fairy godmother, and Prince Charming is actually a much darker story about rebellion and vicious magic.

Sophia is sixteen, old enough for her first ball, but she doesn’t want to attend the mandatory balls where girls are sold off to the highest bidder (and unchosen girls are never heard from again). She is in love with her best friend and wants them both to escape the kingdom, but her friend doesn’t feel ready to rebel. Sophia escape on her own and finds another girl who also wants to break the oppressive system–the descendant of Cinderella’s stepsister, whose family has kept the true story safe in hiding.

I thought a rebellion of that size would take a long to coordinate, but the book focuses more on Sophia’s personal growth and her budding relationship with Constance. It still delivers a satisfying conclusion. A good standalone.


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.