Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review: Princess of Glass

Princess of Glass
By Jessica Day George
Publication date: May 25, 2010

My review:

In this retelling of Cinderella, Princess Poppy of Westfalin is sent to Breton as part of an exchange program for young royals to foster better relationships with neighboring kingdoms. Prince Christian of Danelaw is also visiting Breton and trouble ensues when a creature called the Corley decides to meddle with his life by making him fall in love with Ellen, a servant. Now it is up to Poppy to break the enchantment and defeat the Corley.

Princess of Glass turns the story of Cinderella on its head. Instead of a benevolent fairy godmother, there is the Corley, a wicked crone with magical powers and a gift for glass blowing. Cinderella in this version is Eleanora, the orphaned daughter of a nobleman, now working as a servant known by the name of Ellen. She is incredibly inept and she is very haughty despite her reduced circumstances. I did not like her for most of the book. Princess Poppy is the main character and she is level headed and spunky. I don't really remember her from Princess of the Midnight Ball since she was one of twelve sisters but here she really stands out. I loved that Poppy is the one who gets to do the rescuing.

I definitely prefer this book to Princess of the Midnight Ball. Although Princess of Glass is a sequel it can also be read as a standalone novel. Jessica Day George has a talent for creative fairy tale retellings and this is her best effort yet. Poppy is a strong character and in a story that traditionally features a passive female heroine, it wa fantastic to see her save the day. I was a little dissatisfied with the romance. I felt that it was not as well developed as the relationship between Rose and Galen in Princess of the Midnight Ball. This could be due to the Corley's enchantment however and I liked how things were handled in the end. I was also disappointed with the explanation for the Corley's plans. For all the trouble she went to, her goal just didn't make sense. I still thought this was an enjoyable fairy tale retelling and the strong female protagonist made it a worthwhile read.

Readalikes: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier, The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry, The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott, Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson

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