Title: Not Your Heroine: A Fantasy Collection
Publisher/Author: Zoe Cannon
Release Date: 3 February 2023
What if Cinderella skipped the ball to go fight a dragon? What if the assassin wasn’t tamed after all, and grew bored with her gilded cage? What if each sister chose a different path to power, one proving even more deadly and cunning than the other?
Zoe Cannon is another author I discovered thanks to kickstarter. In this case, it was campaign to support the release of two new short story collections: Not Your Heroine (fantasy and romance) and Lonely Streets (urban fantasy). Intrigued by the premise, I backed the campaign and happily downloaded both books when it reached its funding goal.
So far, I have only had the opportunity to read Not Your Heroine, and I quite enjoyed it. These are women who are not easily fit into categories — or cages. Cinderella is smart and independent-minded and has zero interest in marrying the Prince; or anyone, really; she just wants to get away from her stepfamily, and figures out a way to do so with her fairy godmother’s very-reluctant help. The Black Rose is a famed and mysterious assassin who finally meets her match in the King’s younger son; but is he enough to make her set aside her daggers? Does he know and see who she truly is, and does she really understand what marrying him means?
And so the stories go, taking the unexpected path to happily ever after. Or rather, happily ever after of a sort. These are not your typical fairy tales or romances. Sometimes the hero is not who you think. Sometimes no one is the hero or the villain. Sometimes power and happiness must be seized with ruthlessness and cunning.
Not Your Heroine will be released officially in February 2023. Mark your calendars or preorder it. It will not be what you are expecting, and you will thoroughly enjoy it.
Recommended to fans of Touchstones by Stephanie Burgis and the Kindred Kingdoms anthology.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]