Kindle ASIN: B005Q9ZXUC $1.75
This is a light and fun spin-off on the classic Cinderella story told from the point of view of Jo, a palace servant. After she finds Ella’s other glass slipper under the enchanted pumpkin, its incessant humming drives Jo to reunite the slipper with its mate. This is how Jo meets Ella and her Godmother Arla. When Arla informs Jo that the enchanted slippers belong to the Lady of Ould and must be returned, Jo finds herself the unwilling volunteer to return the slippers.
Jo sets off on this seemingly simple mission with her brother Ron. Almost immediately, they run into problems. After nearly getting killed, Jo realizes that the slippers are more powerful and valuable than what she had been told. The tall stranger named Locke saves Jo and Ron from certain death, but can they trust him? How can they tell friend from foe? There is powerful magic at work. No one and nothing is what they appear to be.
Because he is a healer of Ould and can protect them, Jo reluctantly lets Locke escort them to Ould. But first, to dampen the unsettling effects the slippers are having on humans and animals alike, Locke leads them to the town of Bandes where they meet with Dacke. From Dacke, they learn that the slippers are something called the Dedi, and that Jo’s lineage is far more fascinating than she had previously thought.
Udogu’s writing is imaginative, creative, and sprinkled with little nuggets of wisdom. I can definitely relate to Jo. “Everyone seemed to have a secret or a hidden agenda,” and Jo is caught in the middle of it. If I were her, I’d be fairly upset too. And how many of us have thought “if only”, that powerful feeling of regret about the past that haunts us in the present? But in the end, we discover that we have been on the right path all along, that each one of us is on a hero’s journey, and that this is just the beginning.