Book Review: The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen by Andrea Cefalo

Andrea Cefalo’s debut novel The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen is similar to the hordes of young adult books being churned out lately but with its own special twist. Instead of vampires or angels, Keeper takes classic Grimm fairy-tales and intertwines them in a historical tale of intrigue.

Adelaide (affectionately called Snow White by her family) lives in medieval Cologne during a time where some people die without warning and the rest live under control from the corrupt church. After the city’s priest commits an unspeakable act at her mother’s funeral, Adelaide begins to rebel against the controlling church and as others join her cause the people of Cologne must deal with the consequences.

Cefalo weaves the historical drama together with some of the most famous Grimm’s fairytales in a way that make them (almost) realistic. Throughout the book Adelaide collects these stories, becoming the “fairytale keeper.” I very much liked how each of the fairytales were incorporated into the story without overpowering it.

Being a young adult novel, there were a few things that didn’t jive with the rest of the book. Despite the story taking place hundreds of years ago, both the dialogue and the relationships were a bit too modern to fit in. Between the use of modern slang and the improbable relationship between Adelaide and her best friend/love interest Ivo, the story became less of a true historical drama  and more of a young adult romance.

Despite the imperfect meshing of eras, Keeper was a refreshing take on young adult romance and historical fiction. For anyone who is a fan of fairytales and of history, this book provides a fun melding of fantasy and reality and I look forward to what else Cefalo has to give us.

The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen is set for release on June 1, 2012.