Thursday, December 8, 2011

Princess of Glass

Tackling a retelling/reworking of Cinderella in a post Ella Enchanted (my review) world is a brave thing to do. And if you are going to do it you should really give your story some kind of unique spin. Jessica Day George did just that with Princess of Glass and the end result is an enjoyable and fun read.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances--and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale--until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

There is a lot to like about how George manipulated the tale of Cinderella. The main character is Poppy, one of the may sisters from George's earlier retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses", Princess of the Midnight Ball (my review), and she is not the Cinderella type character. That role is given to a maid by the name of Eleanora who is not all that likable. Turning the Fairy Godmother into the evil villain was a stroke of genius. These elements made the story different enough that it was page turner and took unexpected turns.

I also enjoyed how Poppy is very much the heroine of her story. She is the rescuer of the Prince and that is always an awesome addition to any tale. (He gets to do a bit of rescuing of his own too, but Poppy is even an active participant in that.) 

This is a fun and light reworking of the old tale. I think that it might work better if it had not made so many references to the villains from the previous book and if the romance between Poppy and Christian had been developed a little better. Still, it is a good afternoon's entertainment.

This is YA, but is one of those that would work well for MG readers ready for something a little more mature and romantic. 

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