Monday, August 16, 2010

Princess of Glass

When I first realized that Jessica Day George's next book was going to be yet another retelling of Cinderella, I was a little disappointed. Hasn't that tale been retold enough time yet?

However I was willing to give it a try due to my delight with her previous works and the fact that "Princess of Glass" was a sequel to "Princess of the Midnight Ball" which although not brilliant, still had characters I wouldn't mind hearing about again.

Though a somewhat shorter installment than her previous works, George manages to provide a unique and entertaining twist to the tale of Cinderella, as she sends fiesty Princess Poppy off to Breton for an entirely new adventure of magic and intrigue.

Europe is rightfully suspicious of Poppy's family after nine royal princes were mysteriously killed as a result of their attempts to free Poppy's sisters from their dark curse. In an effort to prevent war, the royal families determine to set up a sort of royal exchange program, sending each of their marriageable children off to the neighboring countries. The hope is that they will all end up creating valuable alliances and a lasting peace.

Poppy and her nine still-unmarried sisters are the first to go, and Poppy is sent off to the Island of Breton (obviously George's parallel version of Britain in her magical world) to stay with her cousins. The other royal to be shipped off to the island is Prince Christian of Danelaw (guess which one THAT is), who immediately finds himself practically ordered by Breton's King Rupert to marry a Breton maiden before leaving the country.

At this point things seem fairly straightforwards. A Prince and a Princess who are both sent off to a faraway country ought to fall in love fairly easily, correct?

But that's not keeping in mind the clumsy maid, Ellen, and her mysterious magical godmother...

...and why do the characters keep seeing green out of the corner of their eyes?

You'll have to read to find out.

This book is an excellent though too-short addition to the ever growing collection of fairytale retellings. It is less dark than it's prequel, which makes me better able to recommend it wholeheartedly.

My only qualm with the story is that the beautiful pink dress featured on the cover never actually makes an appearance. I kept waiting and waiting but... no pink dress with elaborate ruffles. Hmm. Now that is just cheating...


Valia said...

This is too funny---I literally just read this book yesterday!
I agree with you that Princess of Glass is less dark than the first book, but, upon thinking about it, it's definitely the most sinister version of Cinderella that I've read. Everything in this book is at least just slightly different from the original tale, and it's often a darker different (the shoes, the godmother, Lady Ella, etc.). I think the humour Jessica Day George put in there (Christian's letter home had me laughing) really helped it from being as serious as it could've been.

And, yes, I was rather disappointed about the lack of the lovely cover dress, too.

Cor Mariae said...

Hey Elena, I thought you did a review on Princess of the midnight ball but when my sister looked in your book reviews page I couldn't find it... :-/

Elenatintil said...

Cor Mariae - nope. But I did review Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow!