Playing Cards and Lettuce: Diamond by Kirsten Fichter

Somedays I think book releases are the only thing that can get me to blog these days. That doesn’t make the books any less though. Today I have a treat.

This time, Rapunzel’s not the one stuck in the tower, but the secrets he brings with him may cost her own life.

Diamond leads a quiet life with the woman she calls Mother. There isn’t much to pass the time save for excursions in the forest and one-sided conversations with her pet rabbit, Hobie. Men are cruel beings who care only for themselves and must be avoided at any cost. After all, Diamond’s own father gambled her away once. What other terrible fates might await her if people knew she existed?

Seth Stendahl is an alchemist with a middling proficiency in the Rohesian tongue. After growing up with and surviving six sisters, there shouldn’t be anything too difficult for him to master – except maybe breaking his leg and being locked in the top of a ruined watchtower.


I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is funny and it has heart. Despite my intentions, I’d never quite gotten around to reading one of Kirsten Fichter’s books before. I can now call myself a fan. I already had The Rose and the Balloon, but I’ve added Spindle Dreams because I want to see a take on Sleeping beauty without magic.

Things I love in this book:

  1. The first paragraph. It give a unique feel to the story.
    Mother had said many strange things over the years, but when she came home one day announcing she’d been framed for murder, that was new for Diamond.
  2. That blasted man. This is a character who is often referred to and I find the name amusing.
  3. I had a strong sense through the story that there was a key piece of information that I didn’t have. it gave a tension to reading it. Something was going to break out and ruin everything. It works because the main characters shouldn’t know this and really aren’t in a place to guess.
  4. The story felt realistic. Yes, it’s Rapunzel, but this isn’t a fairy story. It’s not serious, but it is grounded. The whole long hair deal is explained as were the other key elements of the Rapunzel story.
  5. This story doesn’t stick to a Rapunzel plot. There’s some role reversal and points where the story just does its own thing and that makes it fresh. It wasn’t predictable.
  6. Diamond is a great take on the Rapunzel character. It’s not easy to write a girl who has only ever interacted with one another person, but this was done well.
  7. Seth is not your typical prince type character. He’s an alchemist with goggles and vials and six older sisters. But he’s not some mad scientist either. He’s nice. I think I could be friends with someone like him. Just let’s not speak Rohesion, because he’s not very good at it.
  8. This book is very much not afraid of making references to the original tale. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and isn’t subtle and that works really well.

And that is the book. You can find it on Amazon, or if you don’t want to be smarter than me, you can add it on Goodreads and leave reading the book until sometimes in the future.

About the Author:

Kirsten Fichter is a twenty-something Christian writer who loves being the wife to her favorite person ever, mommy to two precious blessings, a piano enthusiast, a dragon buff, a serious bookworm, and an INFP synesthete. Fairytales have always fascinated her, and she has made it her goal to rewrite as many as possible and become known as the “Grimm Dickens” (i.e. mixing Grimm fairytales with a Dickens style). Diamond: A Rapunzel Story is her third published fairytale retelling. You can find out more about her on her blog, A Synesthete Writer. Find her online at: Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Amazon


  1. Kirsten Fichter

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Diamond was a tough character for me to write, since I typically rely on dialogue and interaction with people to learn about my characters.

    Also, “Playing Cards and Lettuce” is SPOT ON. I love it!! XD

    • Brie Donning

      I’m glad you like my attempt at humour.

      I’ve tried writing a few people who have been isolated and it’s hard.

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