Slippers and Thieves by Christina Bauer
Genre: Modern Fantasy/Fairy Tale Re-telling
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Slippers and Thieves is the fourth book in the Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series. In this world, certain individuals are born with a life template–a specific fairy tale will apply its rhythm and major events to their lives, and trying to resist will only lead to trouble. Elle, however, is determined to be her own person, love who she will, and live her own life.
I loved the concept of the novel, but I got a bit tripped up in the execution. I don’t want to come down too harshly on a mid-series book that I chose to read without consulting the previous ones. However, from the descriptions, this book is the first of the series to feature Elle, not Bry, as the main character, so I thought I would be able to ease into it well enough. I’ve read plenty of other mid-series books where I was able to do so.
Elle takes the time to explain things to the audience, which I generally appreciate as a new reader, but I fear it might be overdone in this case. When a new character, minor or not, appears in the scene, Elle explains who they are and her history with them. When she goes to an important location, this is also explained. It breaks the flow of the prose, and it’s more details than I need to follow a good story. When we first encounter Bry in chapter one, for example, Elle explains who she is, what her nickname is short for, and how they met rather than focusing in on the key information–these two are close friends. And that’s something that could be easily shown by how they treat each other, no additional explanation needed.
The diversions contribute to an overall jumpy feeling to the writing. It will rush through some scenes and slow down unnecessarily in others. There’s a lot repetitive language, usually in the form of a joke, but the humor didn’t always land for me or it felt injected into an otherwise serious moment and muddied the tone of the scene. Sometimes it felt like Elle was asking the audience, “Can you believe what’s happening now?” which likewise threw me out of the story’s world.
All that being said, I really like the idea of the fairy tale life template. It reminded me a bit of a character who gets a vision of the future they don’t like and spends the story trying to alter their current timeline. The Queen of Hearts as the queen of a group of vampires was a fun take on the character, too. I would have loved to see more of the adventure in Egypt that the characters mention in chapter eight (the second chapter eight; the chapter numbers are reset with each section of the book). The trip takes place off the pages but gets referenced often enough that I wondered if these were events that were explored (or will be explored) in another book.
Overall, while I can’t enthusiastically recommend Slippers and Thieves as a standalone book, if the premise intrigues you, go check out the first book, Wolves and Roses. Some books really do need their fellows in a series to truly shine, and just because the writing style didn’t hit home with me doesn’t mean it won’t greatly appeal to others.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
You can find Slippers and Thieves on Goodreads
You can also buy the first book Wolves And Roses (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum Book 1) on Amazon. (Affiliate link)