I recently read Cristanta Knight: Protagonist Bound, an ARC I received via Netgalley.
I was super excited. It’s a fairy tale re-telling! You guys know me (or maybe you don’t, in which case HELLO, NEW READER *awkward wave*), I am a huge fan of fairy tales, and fairy tale re-tellings, when done well, are my jam.
Unfortunately, this fairy tale re-telling is not done well.
Crisante Knight is the daughter of Cinderella.
Cinderella has apparently turned into a vain, pompous queen who pressures her daughter to be a “perfect princess,” who doesn’t use contractions, wears high heels at all times, and is destined to be the “damsel in distress” headlining her very own fairy tale.
Crisanta attends a special, all-girls’ school that prepares “protagonists” to embark on their own fairy tale sometime after graduation. Crisanta has nightmares, is clumsy and aspires to be much more bad-ass than she actually is. She’s full of sarcasm and pomp, which comes across about as well as my teenage sass did (so… not at all). She also repeatedly breaks the fourth wall, which is supposed to be cute, but really just makes me want to punch her in the face. And she’s a fictional character, so she doesn’t even really have a face.
Some of the ideas in this novel were okay, and I liked the prominent use of fairy godmothers.
Overall, though, playing with fairy tale concepts, gender stereotypes, etc., in a fairy tale school setting has already been done, and done much better, via Somain Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil.
The novel is also the beginning of a series, and subsequently does not really get started until the last 50 pages or so, at which point it ends on a cliffhanger.
While I appreciate having been given the opportunity to read this book, I did not enjoy it, and do not recommend it. Although I just checked Goodreads, and it looks like my opinion is in the minority on this one.