The Secret Slipper
post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: The Secret Slipper
Author: Amanda Tero
Major Themes: Fairy-Tale Retellings
Synopsis: Lia, a cripple, is forced to work for her cruel adoptive mother. Is there any way she can possibly escape the horrible life she is in, and has Bioti been hiding things from her all these years?
When looking through the books I’ve read lately, I was surprised to see how many of them dealt with tougher issues—the Revolutionary war, identity, and growing up being some of the more recent stories. So I was happy to see a slightly “lighter” story in the mix, The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero! If I remember correctly, near the end of last year the author asked for a few beta-readers, so that is how I got to read this story. This is a fun book, one that I classified after reading as “the kind of book I dream of writing.”
Life isn’t easy for Lia. Bioti, her adoptive mother, views her as little more than a servant for herself and her two daughters, and as a result Lia is often forced to do hard manual work with very little reward and not much food. Besides serving the family at home doing whatever menial tasks Bioti and her daughters refuse to do, Lia must also work in the sheriff’s stables—a task that is particularly draining for her, since she is a cripple. Then Bioti decides she needs an even better income, and arranges for Lia to work for Lady Yzebel, the sheriff’s wife—which is supposed to be done on top of all the other normal tasks. Is there any way she can escape from Bioti’s never-ceasing criticisms and outright cruelty?
Meanwhile, Lord Kiralyn is still mourning the loss of his daughter and wife to the plague ten years ago. He had returned home from a military campaign to find them dead, and hasn’t managed to recover very well from that since. Then one day, a trusted servant delivers news that perhaps his daughter isn’t dead after all—that there is a rumor a disgruntled servant kidnapped the girl and made out that she had died. Although longing to prove this rumor true, it would be almost impossible to find one girl among the many thousands in his kingdom. Beyond the improbability of such a thing occurring, would it really be worth it to reopen the pain of his past on such a venture, knowing that it could so easily end in failure and even more loss?
The Secret Slipper is a wonderful story on many fronts. I’d classify this book as a reinvented fairy tale—loosely based on Cinderella, and it has the same kind of feeling in it which makes the reading process a truly delightful experience. Thankfully, it does have some difficulties in the story that means it isn’t all roses and cream (or whatever you want to call it), but the ending is still quite satisfying. If you’re looking for a light read, I’d highly recommend this book.
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