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  • Writer's pictureTammy

Learning About Lady Tremaine's Backstory in Cold Hearted

I’m a newbie to the Disney Publishing’s Villain series but when I saw on bookstagram this series’ book covers, I was immediately intrigued and purchased the entire series during a book buying frenzy. They’re just too beautiful not to be on my shelf and so, I listened to the first three books in the series and requested to read the upcoming book, Cold Hearted.

Cold Hearted by Serena Valentino tells the backstory of Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, and how she became the wicked stepmother. I must say this is fascinating to me as this book (and the series as a whole) does an amazing job at crafting up a tale on the scenarios that result in Lady Tremaine becoming a villain, when she was a kind-hearted and thoughtful person originally. Through darker outside forces, Lady Tremaine, a widow who is a doting mother to her two young daughters, is tricked into a marriage with a duke from the Many Kingdoms (Cinderella’s father) and her magic fairytale romance becomes far from becoming a happy ending.

You begin to feel compassion and frustration at the injustice of Lady Tremaine’s predicament and the way she turned out makes complete sense. However, the one thing I would change about the story is the ending. I wished there was more help involved in helping Lady Tremaine out as she wasn’t a magical being herself as the other stepmothers in the series were and was an unwilling victim to the dark magic.

Also, I recommend reading the series in order as there is an underlying other story that ties all of the books together that I very much relish in and there are references to events that happened in the previous books.

Overall, this YA book is a quick and fun read that charms those who enjoy fairytales and of course, Disney.

Cold Hearted is out today!

Thank you to Disney Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

See below for the striking covers hidden underneath the dust jackets.


Book Description

It’s a familiar tale: A kind and beautiful young girl, reeling from loss. A doting father, frantic to bring a mother’s love back into his daughter’s life. And the selfish, cruel woman who insinuates herself into that family―a woman so unfeeling, so cold hearted, that when her new husband dies, she makes the girl a servant in her own home.

But who is that evil stepmother, that icy lady of the house? How did she become so closed off that, in the face of a child’s grief, she thought only to seek wealth and power for herself and her abhorrent daughters? Before that fateful ball, before the glass slipper and the prince, there was another story―a story of love and grief, of hope and of dreams dashed. It is the story of Lady Tremaine.

Even the coldest of villains are sometimes wives and mothers, women who loved and lost and hoped for something grander for their lives . . . once upon a dream.

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