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Ayanna

Reader's Discretion Advised

...this confuses me. So...it's like tumblr...for books?

Either way, I'm mainly on Goodreads. I do occasionally come here, and also do periodically import my shelves from GR here, but GR is a more sure bet for contacting me.

From the Ashes - Kayla Jameth (ETA from way after everything else below was already written: DON'T BE FOOLED. THIS BOOK ISN'T REALLY SET IN 16TH CENTURY FRANCE. IT'S ACTUALLY SET IN A VERY FRENCH-FIED AMERICAN ANTEBELLUM SOUTH. LIKE, LOUISIANA OR SOMETHING [as opposed to Georgia or North Carolina, etc.]. For more information, read below...)(Post-review ETA: It is highly unfortunate for the author that I am somewhat of a history buff and an aficionado of the 16th-17th century, especially Henrican and Elizabethan times. By this, I mean, in middle school, I read up all about Henry VIII and his wives, then about Elizabeth's childhood (who cares about her reign? All the tragic good stuff was early on :D) and then researched extensively on historical fashions because of theories I had on fantasy settings (yeah, I was an eccentric kid) and also because long flowy dresses are really pretty, for all that I'd never wear something like that. This review is a semi-comment as I went with some brief summary points at the end.)(I was going to give it 2 stars [1.5 rounded up because it IS at least technically readable], but as I started entering it, the cover ended up annoying me a lot. Not to mention that it's rated a 3.91 overall and I took offense to that, too.)(*Later ETA: I almost feel guilty about giving it one stars since the writing itself really wasn't bad, but not really. I still really feel the need to balance out those other reviews. And also, it's the author's own fault with her negligence, so *shrugs. The 1-star rating stays.)Now that I've had time to distance myself more, I'll concede and give it its 2 stars because the writing itself really WAS decent, for all that the ending stank of deus ex machina. Just ignore that stupid little line about 16th century France going into it [I'm not sure if there was anything actually in story that would have indicated such anyways]. It also rings of Disney quite a lot, which, while I was reading, just added further insult to injury. *shrugs. Other people seem to like it. Just didn't work out for me, though. In more than one way.)The only issue I have is a technical one (original statement; turns out I have a LOT of issues with this) - having Cinder do the laundry for the gowns. The problem is the author set this in the 16th century. Ignoring all other anachronisms, the laundresses used to have to actually dismantle the dresses (including trim and buttons) to wash each past separately (and by hand, I'd like to add) and would sew them back again after everything was laundered and checked to make sure everything was still the same size (accounting for shrinkage or stretching [because of the sheer weight of the fabrics]). In addition, given that they had no dryers back then, what the fuck were they thinking having him launder the dresses the day of the fucking event? There's not time to launder those damn monstrosities and have them dried in time to get them to the ball late, let alone for whenever early time they had in mind to begin preparations.All in all, laundering a gown was definitely NOT a task that could be accomplished in a matter of hours.Actually, now that I think of it, why, why the 16th century? I absolutely despise those stupid mutton-leg sleeves that went into fashion thanks to Elizabeth I. And ruffs *shudder. Although French hoods aren't bad.Okay, granted, it might be the first-ish part of the 16th century, in which case the sleeves are those long, flowy, drapy ones that look really elegant, but highly annoying to maneuver in.Chignons were definitely NOT in fashion and I have a vague suspicion the author used the term cuz its etymology is French.Women (or at least the nobility, as Dame Constancia et al are) then generally wore their hair covered and even towards the end of the century when women began wearing their hair uncovered, but plaited with ribbons or gems, it was still pinned quite up. The typical portraits of Elizabeth I are actually quite a good representation of the general fashion of the time (yes, I know she's British. I only mention her because I imagine more people would have a more ready mental image of her than, say, Elisabeth of Austria or Louise of Lourraine.)Actually, the styles seem to more reflect Marie Antoinette's time (which came a good 100-200 years later than the proposed era) than anything (feathers in her hair? Trailing ringlets? Really?) I'm assuming they've got petticoats instead of farthingales, too...Huh. Okay, given that the bodices are rather ornate, I'd say either they're complete fuck-ups or this might fit in the later half of the 16th century.Still, the only thing I can really see that WOULD actually fit in would be the brocade...And then Cinder's dress..."Frothy, airy confection"? *blinks, blinks. I'm sorry, what time period are we in?And then powdered wigs...ARRRRGGGGHHHH SO NOT 16TH FUCKING CENTURY. DO YOUR FUCKING RESEARCH, WOMAN. WE LIVE IN THE FUCKING AGE OF INFORMATION. USE THE FUCKING RESOURCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS INSTEAD OF CONTINUING TO WALLOW IN YOUR IGNORANCE AND IDIOTIC PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS PLANTED BY DISNEY.And another thing...what exactly did he think "using his mother's name" was going to do?And the prince... doublet and sash? Who wears a sash with a doublet? Do you even know what a doublet is? Apparently not...Lady, if you're going to set your fucking story in 16th century France, go through with it instead of creating a Disney rip-off. And do your damn research.Look what a quick Google search yielded:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/1550-1500%2C_French._-_070_-_Costumes_of_All_Nations_%281882%29.JPGhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/1550-1600%2C_French._-_069_-_Costumes_of_All_Nations_%281882%29.JPGAs for the dances:He has issues waltzing? He's bad at dancing, so he'd rather dance a pavane? Again, does the author even know what these dances are? I suppose it's conceivable that he's just more practiced at a pavane, but as a servant woman? Where the fuck would he have learned pavane from? I also find it inconceivable (=_= this woman's turning me into Vizzini) that Cinder would have issues with trying to lead. Again, where the fuck would he have learned to dance from? He was kept as a "servant woman" since the age of 8. I find it hard to believe he would have practiced between then and whatever time "now" is.And another thing. What kind of shit dancer is the prince if his partner has issues with trying to lead? Now, I don't dance often (read: pretty much at all) but one a cruise in China once many, many moons ago they had this spoof dance thing and I waltzed with my dad. All I remember is basically swirling madly around because he surprising COULD dance and led damn well. I'd think that the prince would be confident enough in his dancing to lead well enough. Besides, once you get started, why would he still have issues with "stepping off with the wrong foot"? Waltzing isn't exactly a start-stop dance, not in the sense of some others. How hard is it to alternate feet in his steps?And then the awkward moment when the prince calls Cinder the "belle of the ball" (I guess, seeing the clothes and hair [except for the brocade O_o] I should have known that this was actually set in the antebellum South).The sex scene was awful.And also, Henri's waaay too blasé about the entire thing.Another anachronism: use of beau. But then again, we ARE in the South, so...And all people have a gay sex instinct *rolls eyes.And then "In fact, his parents most likely didn’t want him making an advantageous marriage."...what the fuck? Okay, if he's the second prince, he can still be used for political marriages. *snort "didn't want him making..." as if he'd have any choice...Argh. And the parting shot -- sorry, I mean "line" -- "And they fucked, err…I mean, lived happily ever after."At least it's over.All rants aside, the main issue arose when the author attempted to fit this within a historical time period. I feel if she had just let it go and allowed it to exist in and of itself, most of the things I'm having problems with wouldn't have arisen and ruined my enjoyment of the book. In and of itself, yes, it does rather adhere to Disney's Cinderella, but it does go beyond that rather nicely. The emotions are explored, though they're rather fatalistic. I'm not sure if I had so many issues with it because I couldn't break myself from the thought that it's supposed to be set in the 16th century or if there are any issues beyond that. I'm sure there are; instalove, gay sex instinct, "you're a guy; so what?", etc.(post-posting ETA:I made the mistake of scrolling down to look at some of the other reviews. All these good reviews are pissing me off. It certainly didn't lift MY spirits. I'm sure there's a lot of characterization flaws (I can think of several off the top of my head) that got eclipsed by the idiotic anachronisms. I am in no mood to reread to better formulate such arguments, though.)