Cold Hearted by Serena Valentino

When you’re eight books into a series such as the Villain Tales by Serena Valentino you would think that I wouldn’t be smug anymore! You would think that I wouldn’t go into the book saying “I won’t end up feeling sorry for this villain”.

You would also think that I know I am always wrong!

Lady Tremaine is one of the easiest villains to hate in the Disney universe: she worked Cinderella to the bone, denied her a decent party and then locked her in the attic for good measure! These are hardly the actions of some misunderstood soul.

Until Serena Valentino comes along of course! Valentino has a truly unique way of humanising these characters that we love to hate and, with the help of the Odd Sisters, proves to us time and time again that there is more to our fairytales than meets the eye.

The previous book in the villain tales, Evil Thing, took the reader outside of the Many Kingdoms for the first time. Valentino takes advantage of this, neatly using Cold Hearted to join together Lady Tremaine’s life in London with both the Fairylands and the Many Kingdoms.  This timeline means that the readers meet Lady Tremaine before her role as stepmother: we learn of her worries over indulging her two daughters and her unwillingness to move on after her husband’s death.

Cold Hearted skips time periods slightly so the reader is actually experiencing Nanny and the Fairy Godmother reading Lady Tremaine’s story. Don’t worry: this doesn’t mean we are deprived of our favourite creepy sisters, although this book may have you looking at the Odd Sisters in an entirely new light.

The 8th villain tale continues Valentino’s reign of brilliant, alternative views of our villains. Lady Tremaine was to be the heroine of her own fairytale; all she wanted was her own happily ever after. Where did it go so wrong?

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