Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bella At Midnight

Bella At Midnight

By Diane Stanley

Summary: In the little village of Castle Down, in a kingdom plagued by war, lives a peasant girl called Bella. Blessed with a kind family and a loving friend, she manages to create her own small patch of sunlight in a dark and dangerous world. Bella is a blacksmith's daughter; her friend Julian is a prince -- yet neither seems to notice the great gulf that divides his world from hers.

Suddenly Bella's world collapses. First Julian betrays her. Then it is revealed that she is not the peasant she believed herself to be: She is Isabel, the daughter of a knight who abandoned her in infancy. Now he wants her back, so Bella is torn from her beloved foster family and sent to live with her deranged father and his resentful new wife. Soon Bella is caught up in a terrible plot that will change her life -- and the kingdom -- forever. With the help of her godmother and three enchanted gifts, she sets out on a journey in disguise that will lead her to a destiny far greater than any she could have imagined.

Genre: YA/Juvenile, Retellings, Fantasy

Published: April 11, 2006

Similar Books: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

My Rating: 4 stars

It never fails to amaze me that there are so many retellings of Cinderella, and yet each one is so unique from the other.  This one was for younger readers, but teens can still enjoy it as well.  Bella captured me from the very beginning, and, though I can't say I could identify with her--she IS Cinderella after all, the author wrote in such a way that I 'felt' her emotions.  This book wasn't all Cinderella, either--there were a lot of unique things in here never mentioned in the original fairy tale, so readers won't know exactly how the book ends. In all, it was a fun read, and, though I think it's best for girls ages 8-12, people of any age can enjoy this book. 

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