Cinderella: Ninja Warrior
In this twist on the traditional tale, Cinderella trains as a ninja warrior to help her escape the control of her evil stepmother and attend a special Magic Festival at the palace. The reader is given chances throughout the text to choose the direction of the plot.
- Paperback | 314 pages
- 129.54 x 193.04 x 17.78mm | 294.83g
- 01 Apr 2011
- Silver Dolphin Books
- San Diego, CA, United States
- Illustrations, black and white
About Maureen McGowan
Maureen McGowan has long been making up stories. She has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart Competition, and in 2008 was a finalist in the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards. Before becoming an author, Maureen held various jobs, including auditor, software development manager, and hedge fund CFO. Born and raised in various Canadian cities, Maureen lived and worked in Northern California and Philadelphia for a number of years. She now lives and writes in Toronto, Canada.
Our customer reviews
Cinderella Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan is the first book in the Twisted Tales series brought to us by Silver Dolphin. This fast-paced and action packed story is so much more than the classic fairy tale we all know! Loaded with magic, kick-ass ninja actions, adventures and romance, this fairytale is nothing like you've ever read before. First and foremost, this is not a book that you'll read once and then put on your bookshelf to collect dust. You can read this book over and over again, as this is a choose-your-own-adventure novel. There are 3 key points during the story when you get to choose what Cinderella will do next. Each time you reach these points you get two choices, and once you decide which path you'd like Cinderella to follow, you're directed to the next section in the book. You know what this means? In one book you get 8 different stories, 8 unique ways the plot develops. And even though the ending stays the same, you still get the fun of deciding how the story evolves. I haven't had the time to re-read the book yet and try out the alternative scenarios, but I will most definitely do that, as I'm very curious of the differences! I never actually had a chance to read a choose-your-own-destiny novel before. This was my first one ever, but certainly not the last one. I know for sure that I'm in for the whole series. There's just something absolutely intriguing about the re-told fairy tales. After all, these were the stories I grew up with. As a kid I read all the fairytale books I could find and watched all the Disney movies. They were fueling my imagination and brightening even the cloudiest days. I loved them! And now Maureen McGowan makes these stories even more enjoyable to read. How could I possibly pass this up? Now, let's talk about the plot a little bit. Our heroine has just turned eighteen. Her mother, one of the most powerful wizards in the kingdom, had died at her birth. Her father died few years later, only days after he remarried. Just like in the original story, Cinderella is now forced to live with her stepmother and her two stepsisters, who treat her more like a servant than a family member. Unlike in the original tale, though, our made-over Cinderella is not a weak-willed heroine. She still has to follow her stepmother's orders, do all the house chores and endure cruelty and abuse, but it's no longer attributed to her weak character. She's imprisoned in the house. Her stepmother, an evil wizard, has used black magic to keep Cinderella confined to the cellar, except to do chores during the day and to tend the garden at night. Why is the wicked stepmother determined to make Cinderella's life a living hell? Because she's after a magic wand that belonged to Cinderella's real mother. Convinced that Cinderella knows the location of the wand, she'll do anything to extract the knowledge from her. Cinderella, although still pure in heart and romantic, is not shy and blindly obedient anymore. She's fully capable of making her own decisions, she doesn't sit around dreaming about the prince charming to come and rescue her. She's strong, brave and tough, and she's determined to find her way to freedom. Through ninja training, she improves her concentration, balance and strength. She also trains to improve the magical abilities inherited from her wizard mother. She's a true kick-ass character and that makes following her adventures more fun than ever. The story continues with prince Tiberius looking for a bride. There will soon be a ball held at the palace in the prince's honor and two contests will be held in order to find the perfect girl for him. There will be a beauty contest and a magic competition. The winner of the beauty contest will get a dance with the prince, but Cinderella, not interested in the prince at all, is more excited for the magic competition, winning which will grant her a year's training with the royal wizard. She believes it to be her only chance to escape a life of servitude and humiliation, and she's determined to do everything in her power to try and win the contest. Cinderella Ninja Warrior is an excellent adventure book. Maureen McGowan did a great job retelling this classic tale and I dare say her version of the story is even better than the original. I like how Cinderella stands up for herself and fights for her freedom, she's still a sweet and likable girl, but she's no longer weak and unable to take matters into her own hands. I just love the fact that she doesn't sit around hoping for someone to come and rescue her one day. The depth of this story made me realize how shallow the original was. Cinderella doesn't go for the beauty contest, she's not trying to enchant the prince with her looks, she doesn't even care if she meets the prince or not! She's not interested in getting the wealth and the power, and the prince charming. All she wants is to earn her own freedom and start a new, happy life. I enjoyed the twists a lot, especially the magic and the ninja skills. I do, however, think that the title of the book is a bit misleading. Sure, Cinderella has some awesome ninja skills and she's not afraid to use them, but we only get a handful of the kick-ass ninja actions in the book, whereas the magic seems to be the leading theme of the story. Perhaps Cinderella the Wizard would have been a better choice? In my opinion, Cinderella Ninja Warrior is a fantastic, entertaining and super enjoyable read. If you like fairy tales, you'll love this one! I highly recommend it for a summer read. I can't wait to read Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer, which is the second novel in the Twisted Tales series!show moreby Evie
Reason for Reading: I enjoy fairytale retellings and when I was offered this book it just sounded like plain fun. I'm glad I read Sleeping Beauty first as it gave me heart to keep plugging away with this one which was not as good as Sleeping Beauty at all. The very basic premise of Cinderella has been kept. Well-off girl's father dies and leaves her in the charge of her evil stepmother and nasty stepsisters. Though they are not ugly on outside, just on the inside. Cinderella becomes the servant and is treated more like a slave and a prisoner. Until the night of the ball, when Cinderella tries to get away, not because she wants to attend the ball though but because she wants to enter the competitions being held first during the day, one of them ninja/magic skills to win training with the royal wizard. And here is where we leave the traditional tale behind. Cinderella's step-mom is an evil black magic wizard and she is keeping Cinderella a prisoner with the use of entrapment spells which don't allow her to leave the house of her own volition. The stepmother is sure Cinderella knows where her real mother's wand is (an incredibly powerful object) hidden but alas Cinderella has no clue. Cinderella has inherited some natural talent from her mother, a great wizard in her own right, and with the help of her cat Max, has been training in both her ninja and magic skills secretly. This story was just ok for me. For the first half the step-mother's evil had no opposition and it became tiring. There was also an obvious case of mistaken identity that dragged on for the whole book it became silly that the reveal was not made. I enjoyed the book much more once circumstances chanced in the last half of the story allowing the step-mother's opposition to come forward. The characters weren't as fun or engaging as those in Sleeping Beauty either; I really had no feeling for them either way. The only character whom I had any feelings for was the second step-sister, who was a minor character being in the shadow of her more dominant older sister. This step-sister did behave in a way that showed she felt for Cinderella and was a victim herself of her mother's abusive upbringing. Those looking for fairy tale romance, however, will be much happier with Cinderella than Sleeping Beauty as the love story starts early and becomes a vital part of the plot and the solution. Overall, a fun, if simple, tale that will satisfy romance fans. One quibble, that really annoys me actually, is the cover which has nothing to do with the book. Cinderella never wears a gown in the story, nobody, let alone Cinderella, ever uses swords and at no time was Cinderella ever wandering around a castle with a candle wearing said gown and carrying said sword. The cover does not in any way convey the title "Ninja Warrior" to me. The cover should have shown Cinderella in her ninja outfit she wears to go to the ninja/magic competition & ball. Plus she should be carrying either a wand or a form of stick, both of which she makes use of during the book. Final results: Loved Sleeping Beauty, tolerated Cinderella. Would I read a new book in the series? Yes, I'm pretty sure I would give the next book a chance.show moreby Nicola Mansfield