Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love (Fabletown) by Chris Roberson

When supernatural artifacts from the Homelands begin surfacing in the modern world, it falls to Cinderella, Fabletown’s best kept (and best dressed) secret agent to stop the illegal trafficking. But can Cindy foil the dark plot before Fabletown and its hidden, exiled inhabitants are exposed once and for all? And how does her long lost Fairy Godmother factor into the equation?

Whether she’s soaring through clouds, deep-sea diving, or cracking jaws, Cindy travels from Manhattan to Dubai and hooks up with a handsome, familiar accomplice who may be harboring secret motives of his own. Meanwhile, trouble brews back home in Fabletown when Cindy’s overworked, underappreciated assistant decides to seize control of The Glass Slipper, Cindy’s exclusive shoe boutique.

Paperback, 144 pages  Published August 10th 2010 by Vertigo  ISBN  1401227503 (ISBN13: 9781401227500)

I loved getting a closer look at Cinderella in this edition of Fables. Cindy is a spy who loves her job. She also owns a shoe store back in Fabletown called The Glass Slipper, which recently she has neglected because of her other duties. Fortunately, she has one employee who runs the store when she is gone. Just as she gets home again, she is called back before time and has to do a quick visit to her magic supplier before heading off to Dubai.

Her magic suplier has given her a charm bracelet that alerts her backup when called from anywhere on the globe. So she makes a quick stop off to see Puss N Boots, Jenny Wren and Dickory Mouse, her animal friends that are willing to give her the back up she needs when she calls for them. She also gets a magic ring that gets warm when magic is around and hotter as she gets closer to it.

As she boards the plane to Dubai to locate the black market of the magic trade, her disgruntled employee back home has taken the business into his own hands. He has decided to start selling magical shoes. Although the elves that make the shoes advise him against such business they eventually come to an agreement and he begins to sell the shoes to the public.

When we go back to see what Cindy is doing as she lands in Dubai, she can already feel the ring getting hotter. She flashes back to fill the reader in a little on her history. Her divorce and then eventual hiring as a spy for Sheriff Wolf. She runs into Aladdin who is fronting as a concierge in the hotel she is staying at and they find out they are after the same thing and decide to work together. They arrive just in time to attend the party in which the magical item will be sold.

The hostess of the party and seller of the magical items recognizes them at the party and sets ghouls on them. But with Aladdin’s magic carpet, they find their way to safety. Cindy calls upon Jenny Wren to follow the hostess as she escapes so they can find her wherever she ends up. Aladdin and Cindy soon follow and find themselves in danger and out numbered.

What I have come to really enjoy about the Fables stories is the connection to those childhood characters who I have grown to love become more appealing to my adult side. They are well rounded characters and through flashbacks like Cindy’s, we are able to get a peek at what went wrong with their fairytale. They have grown up beyond the idea of a happy ending and become powerful and what women of today like to see in a rolemodel.

As each character is introduced we get their background and how they came to be in their current position in the more mundane world. I think
this is the key that gets the reader fully engaged into these stories as more than just a comic strip. You really do get great in-depth, well-rounded characters and plots that are entertaining. There is always a focus on one main story in each book, but there are interweaving sub-plots and stories that cross each other as well.

With each of these volumes that I pick up, I get more into the world of the Fables and have fast become a huge fan. I loved the ending and the imaginative way that these characters stories interweave in today’s settings.

by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina (Illustrator), Steve Leialoha (Illustrator), Craig Hamilton (Illustrator)

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown.

But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

Trade Paperback, 128 pages

Published January 1st 2010 by Vertigo

ISBN  1563899426 (ISBN13: 9781563899423)

Now this was a fantastic read. Fables opens up a world of all and any known beings in any fable, nursery rhyme, fairtyale – you name it. The ensemble of potential characters that this series can contain is endless. In Volume One: Legends in Exile: it’s a who-dunnit mystery. The sister of Snow White, Rose Red, has gone missing. There is too much blood in her apartment to make it possible that she survived, but where’s the body? Mr Wolf and Snow White take on the case together and start interrogating all the people Rose Red has been known to consort with.

Volume One contains the first 5 issues of Fables, and the whole complete story of Rose Red’s disappearance, ending perfectly. The combination of dialogue vs illustrations was balanced and the introductions to several other characters not overwhelming, leaving an opening for several more story lines to branch off.

Along with the mystery we get an introduction into the world, how the Fables came to be living among the Mundanes in our world and the desire to want to be able to go back to their homelands one day.

Interesting side characters that are introduced are Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Prince Charming, although we only get a peek into their lives – but the girls take on major kick ass roles. They play an equal role against the guys in this story and I loved finding a new and intriguing way to view Snow White and Cinderella.

My favorite character was Snow White, she has a powerful job working for the government, better off divorced and stronger for it, great apartment and can stand up to the more animal side of the guys. By far my least favorite character is her ex husband Prince Charming. He’s a cocky, selfish ass.

This is by far one of my favorites, I do not know what took me so long to look into this serialized story, no wonder it won an Eisner Award in 2003. I highly recommend it.

 

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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