This book was exactly what I was expecting it to be in the best possible way. The premise is so intriguing, and the magic system was a fresh and interesting. The romance also took an unexpected turn, which I really enjoyed. All in all, I would absolutely recommend this book to fans of fairy tale retellings.
Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for granting me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The premise of this book had me hooked: What if Cinderella wasn't an innocent scullery maid in disguise, but a calculated charade to gain power? While the story ended up going in a bit of a different direction than I had expected based on the synopsis, I still found it very enjoyable. Don't expect a lot of world-building or sticking true to the Cinderella storyline, but if you love fairytale retellings and light fantasy, consider giving this a shot!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.
Many thanks to Del Rey and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Thief Liar Lady was an average read. Although the book had an interesting take on Cinderella, it could have been executed better and required more work to achieve its full potential. The lack of world-building and pacing issues were the drawbacks for me. Ultimately, it made it difficult to stay engaged in the story. Despite this, there were some enjoyable plot twists throughout the book. I appreciated the fresh approach of this Cinderella retelling, where there was no glamour with the addition of the protagonist not being portrayed as a damsel in distress.
This book has a good start and I was instantly intrigued by the Cinderella retelling where she's trained to use magic and skill to get the prince to fall in love with her. All while also secretly helping the cause of her family's country.
The middle of the book got a bit wordy and boring for me, but the last third is good and I found myself not wanting to put the book down. The ending is good and wraps up the story nicely. Overall, this a good fantasy read with a fun fairytale retelling.
Thief Liar Lady by D.L. Soria started strong, then began to feel very... long... until it hit the point of no return with a floppy "last straw" and unsatisfying ending.
I like the idea of Thief Liar Lady - the all-familiar tale of Cinderella, except Cinderella is a con artist using magic to win the hand of the prince and influence the court and kingdom. But there are a few glaring problems from page one. From the beginning, the novel sets off on a problematic premise: Ash, the main character, uses magic to seduce the prince continually for about 70% of the book. I have seen other reviews find qualms with this plot point, and I can see why people find it problematic.
Another point I found poignant to our society today is the not-so-subtle message on religion and colonialism. In Thief Liar Lady's world, the kingdom of Solis has conquered the kingdom of Eloria. One reason that Solis conquered Eloria is that Elorians believed in using magic for religious purposes only. Meanwhile, Solis citizens would like to use magic all the time, for all things, including creating a capitalistic society (religious freedom). At several points in the book, Solis is painted as evil for their conquering of kingdoms (which is undoubtedly bad) and for stepping out of religion (once again, religious freedom). And therefore, Solis conquers Eloria, making Elorian's second-class citizens and holding their prince hostage. The overt message is: colonialism = bad (agreed); religion = good (for some people, yes, but I wouldn't say I like the overall message that if you do not have religion, you are bad.) While reading Thief Liar Lady, I felt pulled between messages I agreed with and those I did not. This wasn't what I was expecting for a retelling of a Cinderella story, and it left me feeling like maybe this wasn't the book for me.
My last qualm: the "last straw" for Ash felt floppy. Without spoiling, it felt untrue to the character, selfish, and wholly unrelatable. The ending felt incredibly rushed. Ash and Rance's relationship felt forced and, again, rushed. Also, what kind of name is Rance? I kept thinking of him in my head as Ranch, which really ruined the vibe.
That being said, I did like some things about Thief Liar Lady. I enjoyed the depiction of the realistic nature of unwanted marriages that women face. I enjoyed Soria's writing style. I didn't hate Thief Liar Lady and enjoyed it until about halfway through.
I, personally, would not recommend Thief Liar Lady. Perhaps my opinion would change if it was split into a series, where the ending and relationship between Ash and Rance could be fleshed out. Maybe if Rance's name was Rance. If only. Thank you, NetGalley and Del Rey, for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Such a cool concept for a retelling. I truly enjoyed this new “upside down” cinderella. The main character made some questionable decisions and I do feel it could’ve been shorter or turned to a duology
This was just a no all around for me. I'm always down for a retelling but this just didn't work for me at all. first, this book was longer than it needed to be. I felt confused by some of the things the characters did, I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing. I wll admit that the premise was interesting and I can't say im not disappointed that I didnt enjoy it as much as i'd have hoped.
Thank you Del Rey Books and NetGalley for the eARC of Thief Liar Lady! All opinions in this review are my own.
I have only heard great things about Thief Liar Lady and I'm happy to say that it lived up to the hype! I feel like it is a cross between a Cinderella retelling and Throne of Glass. I loved the scheming of Ash and the magic system of the world! I can't wait to read more from this author!
I absolutely adore fairytale retellings! Thief Liar Lady is a take on the classic Cinderella story. The twist to this one is the Cinderella-inspired character is actually partnered with her stepmother and sisters. They want her to seduce the prince so she can take over the country. I did enjoy a new take on the classic Cinderella. A Cinderella who isn't exactly an innocent woman. There is magic and romance as well as manipulation.
Thank you NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thief Liar Lady is a readable and fresh reimagining of Cinderella by debut author D.L.Soria. Released 11th July 2023 by Penguin Random House on their Del Rey imprint, it's 416 pages and is available in all formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.
This is an upside down retelling of Cinderella, except in this version, Cinderella is in cahoots with her stepmother and stepsisters to con the prince and take over the magical resources of the kingdom. She's a sort of anti-hero and grows/develops a conscience along the way.
The writing was surprisingly uneven, and there are some areas of "love magic" which are fundamentally iffy and problematic. That being said, it's an entertaining, romantic, sarcastic tale, and would find a ready audience with fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
This one took some time to grow on me. I wasn't sure at first that I liked such a cold, scheming, conniving main character. She really grew on me though as the story continued. She grew as a character as well, learning to care for the people she had originally planned to simply con.
It's very much a "long cons don't always work out as planned" sort of story. It's incredibly faithful to cinderella, hitting all the plot points, while still being completely different. This cinderella is not a damsel in distress.
The prince himself was a little bit of a blank (partly because she was using magic to ensnare him the whole time) and I didn't like the parts of him we did see very much, but I think that was intentional. The hostage prince, meanwhile, was such a lovable character. I was very much rooting for their romance.
I've never really liked the cinderella story because it and the characters have always felt sort of blank and empty to me. I really liked this reinvention of Cinderella as a very clever girl who has been taught to survive by conning her way into whatever she (or more accurately, her stepmother) wants but has to learn that life doesn't always work out like we plan.
The audiobook performance was well-done and kept me captivated.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey for providing an early copy for review.
The premise of this book was such a winner for me and it drew me to this book with such promise and hope, but it took a while for the magic to get to me. i'm glad i stuck with it because, eventually, the book proved itself to be worth the time and I was glad I read it, but I have to admit i was a bit let down at the beginning. Maybe I was in the wrong mood or something, but it was a bit of a struggle for the first third. The payoff was well worth it. But I don't like having to wait for it.
Ugh I tried really hard to like this one but I just couldn't. I love retellings so this seemed right up my alley, but it just didn't' do it for me. I found it rather slow and I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Tried hard to get into this book but just couldn't it was a DNF for me. I really wanted to like it I usually enjoy retellings but this just wasn't for me. I'm sure others would like and encourage people to still give it a try just a miss for me. Want to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
As a fan of the Cinderella fairytale, I was very intrigued by this book. It did throw me off a little in that the names were changed, and there was a major difference in how the story evolved, but I really enjoyed it. The story took a little bit for me to really sink my teeth into it, but once the action kicked up a notch, the story took off and I was enthralled to see where it headed. There are curse words scattered throughout, and some sex scenes later in the book that some readers of a "Cinderella" story might find objectionable, but I felt really added to the grit of the heroine and made the story more real even while being set in a fictional land. I am disappointed that my library system has chosen to skip this title on purchase, but will be submitting a request for them to look at it again..
D. L. Soria's "Thief Liar Lady" surprised me in the best way. Going into it, I expected a lighthearted, fluffy Cinderella retelling, but there's nothing fluffy and lighthearted about this story. It's a complex, dark, and feministic take on the classic fairy tale, and this Cinderella doesn't need a prince to rescue her. She saves herself and grabs the future she wants with her two hands.
I enjoyed Soria's debut far more than I ever expected to. The story made me forget all else, it's so engrossing. I sure hope she has a second novel in the works.
My sincerest appreciation to D. L. Soria, Del Rey, and NetGalley for the digital review copy. All thoughts and opinions herein are my own.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Rey for the ARC of this novel. I am a sucker for fairytale retellings so this one hooked me with Cinderella, or Aislinn in this story, manipulating the prince into marrying her. Ash has done what she needed to survive but been manipulated by all of her parental figures into doing what they want. It felt very logical on how she missed certain plans and did enjoy how Seraphina, her stepmother, does get her comeuppance. I was not pleased with the ultimate ending but it is a minor gripe over enjoying the rest. 4 stars.
This Cinderella retelling is longer than it needs to be, and an unclear premise and confusing character motivations make the first third or so feel like a slog. I think the issue here is all the backstory the reader has to receive before being able to actually enjoy the story.
This book breaks a big rule of fantasy for me. It doesn't explain the magic at all. The characters in trouble? Poof - we can fix that. Need to know something quickly? Oh, here's a super power for no other reason than to advance the plot.
I appreciate a Cinderella spy/anti-heroine and had high hopes, but I didn't much understand or care about her. And I really think the magic dust was cheating. Not for me.