When I first heard there was going to be a companion novel to Princess of the Midnight Ball
I got so excited I didn't even bother to find out what the next book was going to be about. I'm glad I didn't because I might have been turned off that it's a retelling of the Cinderella
story. It's hard to make this original, but the author did a good job of making sure the story stayed fresh and yet keep true to the heart of the retelling.
This time around Poppy (one of the twins from the previous novel) is the main character and though I don't recall much about each sister, Poppy definitely stands out in her own story. Poppy, just like her other sisters who are unmarried, are sent to be guest in other countries to show unity and no ill will. While in Bretoner she will stumble upon sinister plans from the Corley, but she has already been through one curse can she live to tell tale of this one?
Poppy is a perfect character for this retelling. She's levelheaded, fun, a shark at cards, and bright and just the right character to help solve the mystery of what is happening to Eleanora/Ellen/Lady Ella (no kidding she has that many names in the book). The Eleanora character with the three names annoyed the heck out of me for most of the story, though in the end I understood why she acted stupid, it would have been nice to like her more from the beginning. The retelling is told from a kind of outsider perspective since Poppy is not the actually Cinderella. It makes the reader experience the story from another angle. There of course has
to be a prince, in this case his name is Christian and he will get entrapped into the Corley's plan as well.
I'm glad the author made sure to kind of gradually recap what happened in the previous book without it distracting from this story, because new readers wouldn't probably understand why Poppy had such a hate for dancing when she is so good at it. Throughout the book I was just anticipating how they all were going to take down the Corley, but this is where the book kind of fell flat to me. When I read it I thought ...that was it?
In Princess of the Midnight Ball
the ending was more intricate and I had expected something similar here. Other than that though I do recommend it highly to fairytale lovers.
I wanted to mention that at the end of the book Jessica Day George gives instructions on how to knit some of the items mentioned in the book. That is neat of her to do that, but too bad I don't know how to knit!