From Brazilian / Canadian writer Denise Marques Leitao comes Karina’s Silver Shoes, a teen parody of fantasy and fairy-tale tropes with many female characters, friendships between girls and women, and some subtle romance.
She’s got the fate of a kingdom in her hands—or rather, in her shoes.
14-year old Karina is not sure what she wants, but she knows what she’s found: fascinating silver shoes. Fascinating, dangerous, and potentially evil. On the upside, they do bring cool visitors.
When two princesses ask her to go to Whyland, a kingdom in a parallel dimension, to destroy the shoes, of course Karina accepts. Who would refuse a free trip to an alternate world? Advised by a wise master and threatened by a beautiful stepmother, Karina goes on a journey with a princess to defeat a powerful witch.
But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how.
I loved the tagline on this one enough that I decided to request Karina’s Silver Shoes after reading only two lines of the blurb on NetGalley. I didn’t know how someone could have the fate of the world in their shoes, but I wanted to know!?
This ended up being such an enjoyable read that had at least a little of all of my favorite fantasy elements, woven together in a narrative that was never lacking for strong female characters. I loved watching Karina try and navigate Whyland (fun name!) and make sense of everything going on around her.
I hope to read more from Denise Marques Leitao in the future!