Cinderella Story

Sorrow (Thornskinned Heroines #1) - Saiteru S.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Sorrow is a retelling or to be more accurate a continuation of Cinderella. The story is told in prose poetry and poetry, designed as messages and letters sent to various people or a newspaper report.

What Saiteru S. does is continue the story of Cinderella while addressing and mediating on the questions of love and abuse as well as duty. This is done though letters and telegrams that Cinderella sends to various people in her story.

In doing so, Saiteru has combined various Cinderella variants. The story moves far beyond the Disney version with singing mice. What also makes the work stand out is the brief, bare outline that is used. It is in some ways more of an internal monologue, yet the varied letters and reports bring a different look to Cinderella, one that is not seen very often.

The frame, of a discovery of a mummy with a glass shoe, works quite well and plays with the idea of the truth. If a Cinderella exists in most culture, is there one true Cinderella idea that is being used to great effect. The not fully revealing of what happened works with the conceit and makes the story more powerful. Saiteru’s Cinderella is hardly a shy and retiring type. It is her connection to the kingdom that also raises the questions of the ability to rule and the structure of families that are not fully addressed in many Cinderella folk and fairy stories.

This is a lovely and powerful reimagining of Cinderella. I look forward to more in this series.