The Robe of Skulls: The First Tale from the Five Kingdoms by Vivian French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Gracie Gillypot lives with her mean stepfather, Munge, and her even meaner stepsister, Foyce. It was said that Foyce is as mean as Cinderella's two stepsisters rolled into one, she just isn't ugly. Gracie herself is a bit like Cinderella: kind; loving; hard-working; and very, very downtrodden. When we first meet Gracie she is shut in the cellar for being cheerful. But with a little help from a bat friend, Gracie sets out on an adventure that will take her farther than she knows. Add a scruffy prince, an evil sorceress and a troll, and you have the makings for a delightful fairytale.
This book is an interesting retelling of several different fairytales and myths rolled together. There is the princess and the frog; Cinderella; and the myth of the three fates who weave the fabric of life. The characters are enjoyable and you find yourself wondering how their lives went after the end of the book. I think my favorite character is the poor little troll who keeps losing his head, Gubble. Gubble is loyal and only tries to do his best to please the evil sorceress, Lady Lamorna, but never quite manages to do so He just wants to stay in his dark cupboard and sleep. Gubble adds the bit of humor that any good fairytale needs. I recommend this book for lovers of fairytales and for anyone who wants a light read with a little humor and a lot of fun.
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