Kind Ella and the Charming Duke is a charming retelling of the tale of Cinderella set in Recency England. When Ella’s mother remarries a brutal man with two daughters, she is cast in the role of invisible step sister. The Duke, who is in search of a bride, hosts a masquerade ball. All the eligible young women are invited but Ella’s stepfather forbids her from attending so his own daughters stand a better chance to impress the duke. Of course our heroine attends but when it is time to leave the ball she drops her golden mask. Instead of a fairy godmother she is aided by her intrepid maid. The story is further fleshed out as Ella’s mother turns against her and imprisons her daughter in The attic.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Beautifully adapted from the children’s fairy tale, the story is at once captivating and charming. The step sisters provide comic relief from the evil machinations of the heroine’s mother and stepfather. Richly detailed settings and wonderfully flawed characters make this a terrific read.
Rating: 4 stars