Monday, January 17, 2011

Bella at Midnight

By Diane Stanley

In the little village of Castle Down, in a kingdom plagued by war, lilves a peasant girl called Bella. Blessed with a kind family and a loving friend, she manages to create her own small patch of sunlight in a dark and dangerous world. Bella is a blacksmith’s daughter; her friend Julian is a prince- yet neither seems to notice the great gulf that divides his world from hers.
Suddenly Bella’s world collapses. First Julian betrays her. Then it is revealed that she is not the peasant she believed herself to be: She is Isabel, the daughter of a knight who abandoned her in infancy. Now he wants her back, so Bella is torn from her beloved foster family and sent to live with her deranged father and his resentful new wife. Soon Bella is caught up in a terrible plot that will change her life- and the kingdom- forever. With the help of her godmother and three enchanted gifts, she sets out on a journey in disguise that will lead her to a dstiy far greater than any she could have imagined.

I picked this book up on a whim at the library and was plesantly surprised by the entertaining and warm story of Isabella and Julian. It does have some echoes of Cinderella, but they are very slight. This story has a life of its own and is a great addition to any collection that enjoys fairytale-esque books. It was sweet and endearing.

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