Small Feet by Aelth Faye

Small Feet by Aelth Faye
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Romance, Historical
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

What if Cinderella’s slipper fit someone else? Jade’s life is boring, but certainly not as bad as Ella’s. Ella has an evil, abusive step-family, while Jade’s family is only determined to marry their daughters well. But when a ball is announced, who should Jade see there but poor Ella in a stunning ball-gown? And what will happen when Jade is mistaken for Ella, and is faced with the decision of a lifetime? Don’t miss the chance to check out the first book of this unique series of fairytale novellas!

Set in the regency era, the shy, bookish Jade is the youngest of four sisters and has no prospects in life except marriage to whoever will make her an offer. But her daydreams of someday being the heroine of her own story are at odds with her boring life. When the prince asks her to marry him, Jade is faced with the realization that she could do some real good as queen, but the cost to Ella might outweigh any good Jade could do.

Marrying well is required for any girl who wishes to properly secure her future in the 1800s.

Jade’s character development was excellent. Her personality was three dimensional and realistic. Honestly, I could spend this entire review simply discussing her intelligence, her sometimes slightly snobby reaction to people who didn’t share her love of reading, and her sensitivity to the suffering of others. I also appreciated the fact that some of her biggest flaws were things that had a direct effect on how the plot unfolded very soon after the audience first met her. This raised the stakes dramatically and made it impossible for me to stop reading.

I would have liked to see more time exploring the repercussions of a lie Jade told in this tale. While the truth was eventually revealed, her mistake was such a serious one that I was surprised by how quickly it was resolved. It certainly seemed like something that should have taken up much more of the storyline than it was given, especially since her position in polite society was already on shaky ground for other reasons.

This was the first Cinderella retelling I’ve ever read that didn’t include any magical or fantasy elements at all. Everything in it could have really happened in the Regency-like era she lived in, including portions of the storyline that were pretty fanciful in the original. It was fascinating for me as a reader to see how the author came up with logical explanations for everything. What a creative approach to this classic!

Small Feet was a promising introduction to the brand new Fairytale Hour series.

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