Red Hood's Revenge by Jim C. Hines is officially released tomorrow. It is the third book in his Princess Novels series following The Stepsister Scheme and The Mermaid's Madness. The series is gaining fans and Publishers Weekly has given this one a starred review.
Book description from the publisher:
Wars may end. But vengeance is forever.
Roudette's story was a simple one. A red cape. A wolf. A hunter. Her mother told her she would be safe, so long as she kept to the path. But sometimes the path leads to dark places. Roudette is the hunter now, an assassin known throughout the world as the Lady of the Red Hood. Her mission will take her to the country of Arathea and an ancient fairy threat. At the heart of the conflict between humans and fairies stands the woman Roudette has been hired to kill, the only human ever to have fought the Lady of the Red Hood and survived-the princess known as Sleeping Beauty.
Publishers Weekly review:
Starred Review. The third of Hines's reimagined princess tales (after The Stepsister Scheme and The Mermaid's Madness) transcends its predecessors with exciting combat scenes and emotionally complex characters. Warrior princess Talia (Sleeping Beauty) killed the prince who raped her while she slept, and then fled the desert land of Arathea. When the prince's mother sends infamous shape-shifting assassin Roudette (Red Riding Hood) after her, Roudette, Talia, and fellow princess-adventurers Danielle (Cinderella) and Snow (Snow White) make an uncomfortable alliance against the real enemies: the capricious fairy powers who have kept Arathea under their control for over a hundred years. Far more than a modernized retelling, Hines's work is a real synthesis of cultural tropes into a unique world that is worth visiting again and again.To learn more you can visit Jim's website where you can also read the first two chapters of the book. There is a fourth book planned for the series so far, titled The Snow Queen’s Shadow, and due out in 2011.
If you read the descriptions for this book, you'll see that Hines doesn't shy away from the rape elements of the Sleeping Beauty story. He is a strong advocate of rape victims and addresses rape and its related issues on his website. Bravo.
Also, Roudette has appeared previously in a short story, The Red Path, in Terribly Twisted Tales.