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.
I have to admit, I would be pretty ticked at my mother's cousin if the cousin bedded my father a week after my mother had passed. But looking at the situation dispassionately, it was probably a good idea for Adelaide and her father to get out of Dodge (aka Cologne) for a while until things settled down. Not that Addie would see it that way, as her love Ivo is left behind. But he's not exactly safe either, seeing as he set fire to the cathedral, which burned to the ground. If anyone found out, Ivo's life wouldn't be the burned-down wick on a spent altar candle.
The cousin, Galadriel, has her good and bad points too. Granted, her father's 2nd wife and her daughters did not treat Galadriel well. In the "Fairytale Keeper Series", Galadriel's story is that of Cinderella, which not coincidentally, happens to be the nickname foisted upon her by the step-family. As luck would have it, Galadriel marries the rich, handsome Count (paralleling the Prince Charming character) and has a baby. Unfortunately both of them are carried off by the plague.
Granted, their timing is unfortunate, but I believe Galadriel truly loved Adelaide's father. After all, she has an affair with him, becomes with child by him and then we have the medieval equivalent of the shotgun wedding, except it's 'society and propriety' that are holding the weapon. Galadriel's father and Adelaide's father, shortly to be father-in-law and son-in-law, are none too fond of each other.
Adelaide tries to return to Cologne; it doesn't work. She tries to stop the affair; it doesn't work. Adelaide tries to stop the wedding; it doesn't work. She shows her inherited skill at public story-telling by embellishing the tale of "Cinderella" as a 'gift' for her father and Galadriel at their wedding. No one knows the brides old nickname, but she is none too pleased in any case.
As The Countess' Captive winds towards an end, Adelaide is being sent off to another noble's court to receive the spit and polish given to the daughters of nobility of that age. That gets her out of Galadriel's hair and relationships. And it just might give her a chance to be reunited with Ivo - huzzah!
The fairy tales of old seem to be rather 'cut and dried' stories of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. I am 'enchanted' by the way Ms. Cefalo weaves the threads of these traditional stories with a dash of history and the embellishments of modern complications to create an intriguing and unique take on the fairy tale genre. And I continue to be a fan of the series' books' covers; they are both appropriate and gorgeous.
Look for the third book in the series, The Baseborn Lady, later this year.
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.
Click the logo above to visit the tour page for The Countess' Captive, featuring more reviews as well as spotlights and guest posts! You can also apply to be a reviewer for HFVBT while you are there!
(Disclosure: I received a print copy of this book from the author and publisher via HFVBT in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)