Disney Book Review: Cold Hearted A Villains Novel by Serena Valentino

Ahhhh the evil iconic stepmother is back! Serena Valentino’s Cold Hearted arrived in the mail and I literally devoured this book in one day. Read on for a full review of Cold Hearted: A Villains Novel by Serena Valentino!

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Lady Tremaine is still mourning the loss of her beloved husband when she meets a handsome widower Sir Richard.  Introduced by her best friend Lady Hackle Lady Tremaine uproots her life and family to move to the shabby chateau of Cinderella and her Father.  Lady Tremaine brings along her two daughters Anastasia and Drizella, two girls that are quite spoiled by their mother. 

Upon moving into the chateau Lady Tremaine quickly sees Sir Richard’s true personality.  He literally only married her for her fortune, he is in deep debt and expects her and her daughters to cook and clean their home.  Lady Tremaine’s relationship with Cinderella is stable at first, but she quickly realizes that Cinderella’s seemingly rude attitude is simply a byproduct of her father’s manipulation.

Not to be outdone, the Odd Sisters also manipulate the situation with magic which eventually lead to Lady Tremaine’s descent into madness.  

Cold Hearted is simply put an entertaining retelling of Lady Tremaine’s story.  Throughout the book, I felt such a sense of unease because I truly felt sorry for Lady Tremaine and her situation.  Lady Tremaine clearly just wants another loving marriage but Sir Richard has his own plan and I think that itself is a compelling reason for how she becomes the most evil stepmother there ever was.

Another interesting aspect of Cold Hearted is that Cinderella isn’t portrayed as a sweet angelic being, she is a bit standoffish with the Tremaine’s but never outright mean to them.  She actually isn’t in this book a ton and I would argue that the Odd Sisters and Sir Richard are the true villains in Lady Tremaine’s life. 

Cold Hearted by Serena Valentino is a wonderful retelling of the origin of Lady Tremaine’s wicked treatment of Cinderella and her disastrous marriage to Sir Richard.  It is entry #8 in the Villains series but I don’t think you need to read the other stories to enjoy this one.  

Rating 4/5 stars

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