Before Midnight

Before Midnight: A Retelling of Before Midnight: A Retelling of “Cinderella” by Cameron Dokey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Once Upon A Time
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytales, Young Adult
Purchase: Book Depository

This review contains no spoilers.

Etienne de Brabant is brokenhearted. His wife has died in childbirth, leaving him alone with an infant daughter he cannot bear to name. But before he abandons her for king and court, he brings a second child to be raised alongside her, a boy whose identity he does not reveal.

The girl, La Cendrillon, and the boy, Raoul, pass sixteen years in the servants’ care until one day a very fine lady arrives with her two daughters. The lady has married La Cendrillon’s father, and her arrival changes their lives.

When an invitation to a great ball reaches the family, La Cendrillon’s new stepmother will make a decision with far-reaching effects. Her choice will lead La Cendrillon and Raoul toward their destiny — a choice that will challenge their understanding of family, test their loyalty and courage, and, ultimately, teach them who they are.

Can I just say that this Cinderella is the first I’ve ever read that doesn’t feature an evil stepmother? She certainly has her moments, but she’s not the villain at all!! This is based on a french version in which the Step Mother is not the villain, rather, Centrillion (read: Cinderella)’s father (and several other assorted characters) are.

Even though its been a while since I read it, this sticks in my mind because I remember loving how all the characters interacted.


I have to say that I love the idea of this series. There are a ton of fairytales and folktales explored in this series (you can find all of them here), most are written by Cameron Dokey who wrote this one, but there are also some by Nancy Holder, Suzanne Weyn and Debbie Viguié. You can now get some of them as story collections. Some of the ones I’m most excited for are:

  • The Story Teller’s Daughter 
    • Arabian Nights
    • I love this story and I can’t wait to see this spin on the tale.
  • The Wild Orchid 
    • Mulan
    • I love anything and everything Mulan. I’ve had this on my Kindle for a while, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it.
  • The Rose Bride
    • The White Bride and the Black Bride
    • I’ve never heard of this so I’d love to read it just to experience the new fairytale.


I think any fan of fairytales would love this. It’s a very different Cinderella story, but I think you’ll love it.

Featured Image

That’s Cinderella and I at Disney World two years ago.


2 thoughts on “Before Midnight

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