The Stepsister Scheme (#1)

Next: Mermaid’s Madness (#2)

You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures till you finally reach that inevitable line: “And they lived happily ever after…” Guess what? It’s not true. Life in never-never land isn’t all sweetness and light. Cinderella — whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas) — does marry Prince Armand. And (if you can ignore the pigeon incident) their wedding is a dream-come-true.

But not long after the “happily ever after,” Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon. And though Talia — otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty — comes to the rescue (she’s a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away.

That’s when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her very own Secret Service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course). Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy-duty flirting.

Can three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland’s most nefarious villains?


“Hines’ strength in his brilliantly plotted, cleverly imaginative book is character concepts and interactions. The action never stops, and the characters are painstakingly real.”

RT Book Reviews

“Delightful, innovative entertainment […] fans who’ve enjoyed his earlier “Goblin” novels should get a kick out of this one.”

Lansing State Journal

“THE STEPSISTER SCHEME is yet another winner, one more reason why I will pick up every book Hines writes […] This book is a scream, and possibly his best book yet.”

Curled Up With a Good Book

“Plenty of action, comedy, and fun characters. A great read for young adults, but I’m sure readers of any age would get a kick out [of] this page turner.”


“Very entertaining.”

Critical Mass

“Like a breath of fresh air […] Hines’ work is always entertaining, and in many ways THE STEPSISTER SCHEME is his best yet.”

Grasping for the Wind

“As engaging as ever […] what carries this book is the characterization, the love story and triumph.”

Book Spot Central

“Highly imaginative, with fun and engaging characters. It’s a wild ride worthy of any fairy tale, complete with wild flights, high-octane fights, and more […] the best part of it all is the complex relationship that develops between the wonderful characters.”

Errant Dreams

“Fantastically fresh and exciting, The Stepsister Scheme is another hit by Goblin series author Jim C. Hines. Fantasy and fairytale fans will enjoy this quirky and fun adventure of three princesses, each with an incredible story to tell.”

SciFi Chick

“Hines brilliantly remixes and reimagines three of the most popular fairy tale heroines of all time. The plot is fast-paced and exciting […] I can’t wait for the next installment. Mark my words, this is a fantasy adventure worth checking out.”

Green Man Reviews

“Readers who discovered Hines through [his Goblin books] are going to find similar strong characterizations, the breadth of humorous riffs on fantasy tropes (especially fairy tales), and deftly set up, increasingly complex world-building.”

SF Site

“What a romp, both light and dark, sometimes sexy, and along the way occasionally quite brutal. Old friends Snow White and Sleeping Beauty forge an odd trio of feminist ninjas with Cinderella in an amazing gallop to save a prince, thwart a witch, rescue a kingdom, and turn fairy tale conventions upside down in the process.”

Jane Yolen, author of Briar Rose, Sister Light/Sister Dark; two-time Nebula Award winner

“THE STEPSISTER SCHEME is not your Grandma’s fairy tale. Action, intrigue, romance, action, treachery, and did I mention action? These princesses will give Charlie’s Angels a serious run for the money, and leave ’em in the dust. Read it!”

Esther Friesner, winner of the Nebula Award and author of NOBODY'S PRINCESS

“An engaging, well-paced romp that sheds a whole new light on some delightfully familiar characters. Make sure you free up some time before starting this one because you won’t be able to put it down.”

Mickey Zucker Reichert, author of THE RETURN OF NIGHTFALL

“THE STEPSISTER SCHEME is a very entertaining read. I loved the magic and fresh twist on the notion of ‘happily ever after.'”

Kristen Britain, author of The High King’s Tomb

“What fun! In THE STEPSISTER SCHEME, Jim Hines shows that what happens after happily ever after is even more interesting. A thoroughly enjoyable reinvention of the fairy tales you thought you knew. If you like your princesses smart and strong, read this book.”

Theodora Goss

Awards & Accolades


2009 Romantic Times Award Nominee: “Best Fantasy”