As a humble farmer's daughter, Elise awakes one morning after surviving a bout of the pox to find most of her family dead, or nearly so. Attempting to fulfill her dreams and her mother's dying wish, Elise makes her way from the country side to the city in order to find a place at the castle where her mother once served. Taken in by her aunt, who readies her to serve at the castle, Elise easily makes her way up through the ranks until she becomes Queen Lenore's personal attendant. Elise's intelligent and caring manner allows her to be friendly with the Queen and the King's elderly and devious aunt Millicent. We follow Elise as she recounts her story through her own love and loss as well as her fierce determination and loyalty to the Queen and her only daughter, Rose.
Told from the point of view of Elise as an older woman, who is now telling the tale to her granddaughter, we get to hear the story through a mature lens. This story is told as more of a piece of historical fiction in a series of events that are not at all wrapped up in fantasy, but that could have really happened; then brandished with the element of time, have made their way into the elaborate fairy tale as we know it today. I really enjoyed reading all of the intricate details that I know of the fairy tale woven into seemingly normal events. It was easy to imagine how the events that Elise accounts could be turned into the fairy tale as we know it. I really enjoyed reading this tale and was caught up in Elise's world. I wish Elizabeth Blackwell would write this as a series of re-tellings of fairy tales, but I'm not sure I'm that lucky.
Thank you to Elizabeth Blackwell and the Goodread's First Reads program for providing me with a free advanced reading copy of this book.