Imatge de l'autor

Tracy Barrett (1) (1955–)

Autor/a de Anna of Byzantium

Per altres autors anomenats Tracy Barrett, vegeu la pàgina de desambiguació.

20 obres 1,850 Membres 61 Ressenyes 1 preferits


Obres de Tracy Barrett

Anna of Byzantium (1999) 674 exemplars
The 100-Year-Old Secret (2010) 416 exemplars
Dark of the Moon (2011) 130 exemplars
King of Ithaka (2010) 93 exemplars
The Beast of Blackslope (2009) 80 exemplars
The Case That Time Forgot (2010) 79 exemplars
The Stepsister's Tale (2014) 71 exemplars
On Etruscan Time (2005) 69 exemplars
The Missing Heir (2011) 54 exemplars
Cold in Summer (2003) 47 exemplars
Marabel and the Book of Fate (2018) 47 exemplars
Virginia (Celebrate the States) (1997) 14 exemplars
Freefall Summer (2018) 11 exemplars
Kentucky (Celebrate the States) (1999) 10 exemplars


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Overall I enjoyed this inside out retelling. The pacing was uneven however, with the bulk of the "Cinderella" tale in the last 25%. Its at this point Isabella (Cinderella) goes to the ball and from there its a mad dash to reimagine it all.

Obviously I enjoy fairy tale re-tellings. I have two shelves dedicated to those sorts of books alone and so many others boxed away waiting to shine forth. Cinderella though isn't a favorite since honestly nothing beats Ella Enchanted for me. That remains almost pitch perfect to me and is book I point to when folk want to know how to re-imagine a fairy tale correctly. (I love the movie Ever After as well, but movie re-tellings are a separate matter entirely).

Barrett's book has much to recommend it. Our main character, Jane (one of the "ugly stepsisters") gives us a focal character who from the start is shown to be working hard. She's trying with everything she has to preserve what her mother sees as their "way of life" and live up to those ideals while still dealing with the every day tasks of having to do everything for a large estate. Tend the animals, clean, cook...Jane (and her sister Maude) do it all just to keep up a pretense of some gentility.

Something had to give and when Isabella ("Cinderella") and her father move in and that something occurs when Isabella's father dies. Its no longer Jane keeping her mother and sister alive, its now Jane keeping her mother, sister and vain useless stepsister alive. Keeping the dreams of one person alive is hard enough, but meeting the demands of two people running around in denial is just awful.

Two problems curbed my enthusiasm for this book, no matter how much I liked Jane and appreciated their budding relationship she was building. The pacing is horribly skewed. Its not that its a slow character driven novel (I love those) its that for 75% of the book its a character driven novel and then the last 25% seemed to remember it had to weave in a whole lot of the original tale.

In short order we have Cinderella's "fairy godmother", the ball, the search for the lady who fits the shoe and the "happily ever after". It felt very rushed and several character turns rang as unrealistic and contrived. Jane fared the best, but I still was sideswiped by her abrupt 180 on how she viewed Isabella's nature.

Meanwhile Jane's mother, Lady Margaret, suddenly has character and a will of her own while Isabella gets over herself long enough to realize she made some big mistakes. In neither case does either character show many glimpses of such traits, they just appear to help save the day at the end. And if we're being technical neither ever admits they were in the wrong. After Jane conceives the solution to their problems the main book ends and in the Epilogue we're told how it all worked out for everyone because of her solution.

I really, truly HATE it when books do that. I don't believe Epilogues should prove the ending. If I read the last page and I don't believe whatever the author wanted me to believe in (the romance, the end of a war, that the sky turned red forever and ever after) I don't want an Epilogue telling me how the ending was correct. An Epilogue should add to my already established belief in the ending. Or set up the continuation of the series itself by moving the focus to a new character. Its a bit like a scientist stating in his research paper that the experiment turned out correctly after only listing the original hypothesis and nothing at all about how he came to that conclusion.

Overall this wasn't a bad book, it just needed to expand on the characters outside of Jane more.
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lexilewords | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Dec 28, 2023 |
Thanks to Joanne for reccing this book even if it did take me a while to get around to it

Jane lives with her Mamma and younger sister in the faded grandeur and rotting rooms of their ancestral home Halsey Hall. Once they had a father too...but drink and ultimately death separated him from his wife and children

With her mother living on the memories of what once was and her sister too young to remember anything but the squalor Jane does her best to keep things together

When her mother returns from the city she is not alone,,,.. she brings her new husband along with his daughter. Jane and Mauds stepsister Isabella is a pretty nicely dressed girl who looks down on her new home and family.

Her father is

Jane learns that people of the woods who

The prince turns out to be cruel and selfish while Isabella at first comes across as spoiled after she experiences the hardship of her stepsisters she cant cope and breaks down
She goes a bit mental and starts sleeping with her head in the fireplace and so on

'Isabella still crouched in the fireplace, sifting the ashes through her fingers. She looked up as they entered. “You’re all muddy, Maude. Mud-Maude.” She laughed. “And you’re covered with cinders.” Maude listlessly emptied the nuts from her pouch on to the table in front of Jane. “Cinder-Ella.” “Don’t call me that, Mud-Maude,” Isabella said.'

in the end the biggest culprit is misumderstandings and differences

There is a romance in The other stepdaughter but it takes a backseat At heart this book is a coming of age story
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Litrvixen | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Jun 23, 2022 |
This is Princess Anna Comnenus (about whom I knew nothing.)
Written for the YA reader (but I quite enjoyed it, aged nearly 60!) it evokes the Byzantine palace pretty well, and gives an impression of her hatred for her younger brother (who gets the crown when she had hoped for it)
After seeking to poison him, she spends the rest of her life condemned to a convent- where she wrote a memoir of her late father, The Alexiad.
But checking her life story, there are unanswered gaps. Younger brother John (a spoilt and hateful chid here) became a much-loved king.
Anna's incarceration (here occurring when she's still a teen) was actually after several years marriage and several children...
So the jury's out on the details...but an interesting read that certinly introduces the characters..
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starbox | Hi ha 14 ressenyes més | Mar 9, 2022 |
Marabel has grown up in the shadow of her twin brother, Marco. Marco....The Chosen One....the one the prophesies all say the kingdom has been waiting 1000 years for. It's a bit hard to stand out in the crowd when your twin is destined to be the answer to everything. Most days nobody in Magikos even notices her. That makes it much easier to sneak in fencing lessons in the old tower and do other unladylike, fun things. But, one day adventure finally finds Marabel.....and her life will never be the same!

This is such a magical, wonderful story! Marabel doubts herself at first but discovers friendship, courage, and a dash of wisdom on her adventurous journey. She learns that oftentimes people misjudge those who are different from themselves. She also learns about negotiation, teamwork and the true value of friendship and trust. Awesome middle grade book! Ogres, dragons, fairies, wizards, has a little bit of everything, plus a lot of humor. Everything is middle grade age appropriate. There is some allegory to current social and political issues, but nothing too over the top. Just a nice lesson in not judging others by looks or culture, and that fighting is not always the correct answer to a problem. True advice.

I don't usually comment on other reviews I have read, but I'm going to this time. This book was written for children. The book is intended for a middle grade audience. Many reviews for this book are from adults complaining about the humor, character development, lack of hard hitting emotion, etc I'm going to say this again: THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN. This is not an adult book....or even a YA book. It is a fantasy story with a nice moral lesson for CHILDREN, and should be reviewed as such. I don't have a problem with adults, reviewers or anyone reading children's literature -- I love reading children's books myself and I'm a grandparent! But -- always keep in mind that the book is not written for adults, 20-somethings, or anyone older than 14 in mind. It's a children's story -- read it, enjoy it and review it for that audience. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but don't review a children's story like it is an adult or YA story. **Off my soapbox now**

I loved this book! I'm going to purchase a copy for my granddaughter to enjoy. It's an often humorous fantasy romp through a magical land....with a dragon, WizFi, a talking unicorn and lots more....and a nice moral lesson weaved in with it all.

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Little Brown Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
… (més)
JuliW | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Nov 22, 2020 |



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½ 3.4

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