Publication Date: February 14, 2015
Scarlet Primrose Press
Formats: eBook; Paperback
Series: Book Two, Fairytale Keeper Series
Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Fairytale Retelling
During March of 1248, Adelaide Schumacher-affectionately called Snow White-has lost so much: her mother, her possessions, and now her home.
Adelaide hates abandoning her home city, her family’s legacy, and her first love‒Ivo. More than anything, she hates her father growing closer to her mother’s cousin‒Galadriel. Adelaide plots to end their tryst before her fate is sealed, and she never sets foot in Cologne again.
But good and pious can only get Galadriel so far. Never again will she be destitute. Never again will she be known by the cruel moniker‒Cinderella. Never again will someone take what is rightfully hers. No matter what it takes.
The Countess’ Captive is the much anticipated follow-up to The Fairytale Keeper and is book two in The Fairytale Keeper series. The novel combines Grimm’s fairytale characters with real historical settings and events to create a tale that leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins.
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The Countess' Captive picks up right after The Fairytale Keeper leaves off. Adelaide, her father and her mother's cousin, Galadriel are abandoning their home in Cologne after their home was destroyed. Adelaide would much rather stay in Cologne with her betrothed, Ivo and become a hard working like her father. Instead, the trio just barely escapes town on their way to Galadriel’s castle in Bitsch. With her life turned upside down, Addy must now pretend that she is the daughter of a rich merchant and refer to Galadriel as ‘my lady.’ Meanwhile, Galadriel has successfully installed herself as her father’s mistress less than one month after the death of Addy’s mother. With a baby on the way and a wedding she is unable to stop, Addy finds comfort in the stories that her mother once told her, she also creates a new story to tell about her new step-mother.
Thoughtful, imaginative and fast-paced, I loved learning more of Adelaide’s story and a look into Medieval life for a Countess and her household. Even though I knew where her and Galadriel’s relationship was heading, I was still surprised at how their relationship formed. Carved out as the wicked step-mother character, I really couldn’t decide on my feelings for Galadriel. However, I still did love Adeline as she grew and learned to deal with her lot in life with the help of Father Hannes. Just as in The Fairytale Keeper, several fairytales are woven together artfully, and so that it doesn’t feel like a retelling, but more of actual events that could be construed into a fairy tale as time passes. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Adelaide in the The Baseborn Lady.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
You will definitely want to read the first book in the series….check out my review below!
The Fairytale Keeper:
Adelaide's mother has lovingly nicknamed her Snow White as she tells Adelaide the story of her birth within the small village of Cologne in the 13th century. After a fever sweeps the town, Adelaide's mother perishes. Adelaide's father, a humble shoemaker scrapes together enough money to bribe the town priest, Father Soren, to give a proper funeral for her mother. When the funeral goes awry, Adelaide becomes enraged at Father Soren and begins to learn of the wrongdoings of the church, she is also set on revenge and the redemption of her mother.
I am a sucker for fairy tale retellings and could not wait to read this series. Adelaide's story is set firmly in historic reality but shows a glint of fantasy and magic here and there that would lend to the stories being woven into fairy tales through time. Through the writing medieval Cologne was brought to life along with the struggles of the people at the time. Adelaide, her family and some other townspeople are all firmly set in this installment. I immediately loved Adelaide's fiery spirit and willingness to right a wrong. I also fell in love with Ivo, a young man apprenticing as an armorer that Adelaide is friends with and grows fond of. Their beginning romance is done well, and is incredibly sweet so far. Adelaide's father and her mother's cousin, Galadriel were not as likable of characters, but their places within Adelaide's story are foreshadowed. This is only the beginning of Adelaide's story and I can not wait to see what happens with the characters as well as how more fairy tale elements are woven in with the next book, Countess Captive.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Andrea Cefalo is an award-winning author and blogger on Medieval Europe. The next three novels in The Fairytale Keeper series will debut in 2015 and 2016. She resides in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and their two border collies. For more information please visit Andrea Cefalo’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Intro: Galadriel gives Adelaide advice so she can return to her father’s good graces, but Addie questions Galadriel’s motives. The two argue and Galadriel, realizing that Addie will never waver, threatens her.
“Tonight you shall join us for supper and be a cheerful, obedient daughter,” Galadriel says. “Do that, and perhaps he’ll forget about the convent.”
Her advice takes me aback. “Why are you helping me?”
She laughs. “It’s not out of any fondness for you.” Her face saddens for a moment but quickly hardens. “I know you hate me…”
“You bedded my father a week after my mother’s death. You were her cousin!”
“It was not planned, you know.” She looks away. “We had so much drink. I doubt we even knew…”
“Doubt you even knew what? What you were doing, or who you were with?” I give a short, wry laugh. “Well, I do not doubt that he hadn’t any idea of that either.”
Her slap falls hard on my cheek. She draws back, and for a heartbeat, she eyes the hand that slapped me with shock. One of my hands darts to my smarted cheek, the other curls into a fist as we stand in heated silence. Her countess mask returns as quickly as it had faltered.
“What’s done is done, Adelaide, and I cannot undo it.” Her voice is distant, almost sad. “I have tried to be kind to you. I came all the way back to Cologne to save you. I saved Gregor from you. I gave you a home when you had none, and I give you one still.” A shadow darkens her fair face. “But if you want me to be a villain like the ones from your Mama’s tales, I will gladly rise to your expectations.”
She comes close. Her voice lowers to a whisper. “You think me a fool, but you have no idea what you are up against with me. I know why you ran from the carriage. You had to warn your little peasant boy. Is there someone else besides us who knows he burned Cologne’s cathedral to the ground?”
Her words knock the air from my chest. “Ivo would never do such a thing,” I lie.
She laughs. “Oh, if Konrad ever got his hands on you again! Your face paints quite the picture, you know. Are you always so easily read or only when it has to do with the peasant boy?”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, but I do.” Her voice is ice. “That night, I sat staring out the window as your Father slept off his drunken stupor. I had nothing else to do. And then I saw him. Your Ivo, he ran right below my window, panicked and covered in soot.
“So back to why I am helping you. I love your father, and he loves you. I know the pain of losing a child, and I wish to keep him from that. If you summon him this morning, it shall upset him. Seeing the welt on your head shall remind him of yesterday. Besides that, it is obvious you are well enough to join us. He will suspect you’re causing trouble again, and that may seal his decision to send you away. It would break his heart to do that, and his heart hasn’t yet mended from its last wound.
“I have offered you kindness, and you won’t take it.” The soft, feminine angles of her features sharpen. “Now I offer you a warning. Keep up with your defiance against your father, and he will send you away, but if you defy me in the walls of my home, I swear I will write a letter to Konrad, telling him you confessed to me a horrific secret about how your Ivo burned the great cathedral of Cologne.”
“You’re wrong,” I say, withholding welling tears.
“And so what if I am? I am a countess, and he is a nobody. Who would Konrad believe?” She whirls around, heading down the hall, and adds without turning: “I think I shall have the letter written and kept in a safe place with a trusted person, just in case anything should happen to me.”