|Phoenix and Ashes|
Date: 2005-10-04 — DVD / VHS
This retelling of Cinderella has Eleanor Robinson literally bound to the hearth by her stepmother's magic after her father's death, unable to do anything except what her stepmother commands. During the years of the Great War, she fades from people's memories as her life becomes one of degrading slavery. But when her own magic starts to awake, she finds herself being able to, in small ways, break free of the sphere of her stepmother's influence.
And it's a good thing, too, The prince cognate, Reginald Fenyx, has returned from the war traumatized from an incident in which he was buried underground. The stepmother wants power, and she wants advancement, and as an Earth Elemental Master, she's supposed to be good at healing. She begins to do her best to insinuate herself into young Fenyx's life, hoping to bind him to one of her daughters.
I like this version of Cinderella, with a strong heroine who has to fight hard against the compulsions magically binding her, and a lord's son who is quite the decent chap. She is not passively waiting for her prince, but seeking his assistance while helping him while she can. It's the basis for a solid relationship.