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Fairytales of Folkshore #6

Princess of Midnight

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After breaking free of her evil stepfamily’s thrall, Ornella Dufreyne flees into Faerie, and ends up in the Winter Court. But when she interrupts her escape to thwart an assassination attempt on the King of Winter, they recapture her.

All hope seems lost, until the Queen of Spring appears to make her an offer.

At the Midwinter Ball, Ella has to monopolize King Yulian's attention, while others try to expose the would-be assassins. In exchange, the Queen will free her and bring her stepfamily to justice.

At the Castle of Glass, she discovers Yulian is a kindred spirit who's crumbling under a curse that's turning him to ice. After he repays her life-debt, they grow closer, cooling her flaming fury and thawing his frigid state.

But just as they start to believe they could be each other’s salvation, everything unravels when her stepmother’s plot to divide them unknowingly aids Yulian’s enemy.

As danger encroaches, through untraceable whispers and haunted mirrors, inconceivable secrets long lost to the night are unveiled. And by the third strike of midnight, Ella must choose between the final chance to be free, or to save the only one whose life and love reflects her own.

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 14, 2020

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About the author

Lucy Tempest

12 books290 followers
As the spawn of Trekkie comic book nerds, the importance of storytelling is an integral part of my being. Spinning tales since I learned to speak, now my books can take others through my adventures and necessary escapism.

I live with one foot in Florida with my family and two spoiled cats, and the other firmly lodged in fantasy.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 63 reviews
Profile Image for Sam.
264 reviews19 followers
February 26, 2020
"It must be coming more naturally to you, now that you've been uprooted from your port and replanted in your grove."

Princess of Midnight is the sixth installment of one of my favourite series, Fairytales of Folkshore, and Lucy Tempest just keeps knocking it out of the park with her retellings and reimaginings of well-loved fairytales and adding just that extra bit of interest into them.

Princess of Midnight is a retelling of Cinderella and Snow Queen, following Ornella (Ella) Dufreyne and her journey through Faerie and her interactions in the Winter Court, namely with the Winter King, alongside the (sometimes questionable) assistance of a loveable Autumn Court Prince. After escaping her 'family' in Ericura, Ella went through the Equinox Games with her friends in Bonnie's books, only to end up in the Winter Court on the run from her Stepmother and Stepsisters who have somehow managed to catch up with her again. No good fairytale starts off with our heroine in a safe and secure position, so of course Ella will have to go through some further hardships in order to come out the other end discovering the inner strength that she has.

Humour plays quite a big part in this novel and I thoroughly enjoyed the banter throughout this book between several different characters, with none of it seeming out of character or forced. It's really beautiful seeing the growth and confidence in the authors writing, alongside all of the different branches in the stories that are developing. The intertwining of multiple retellings and characters is an art in of itself and it's an incredibly fascinating ride to be along having theories and seeing what eventuates and how it all weaves together.

I'm so looking forward to the future retellings!
Profile Image for Tricia Mingerink.
Author 11 books355 followers
March 5, 2020
I knew this book was going to be amazing, but it still managed to blow me away! Eeep! I ADORED Ella and Yulian so much! OTP, anyone??? *swoony sigh*

The first chapter starts a little slow, taking its time to bring the reader up to speed on what has happened since Ella was left behind in the city of Midnight during the last book. The quick refresher on the backstory was helpful, even if it slowed down the narration for a while.

However, once that refresher is out of the way, this book really starts to get good. Once Yulian is introduced properly, I couldn't put this book down. Seriously. So, so, so good!

Other reviewers mentioned they didn't like the fast pace, but I actually adored it. I LOVE a fast paced book and the slower pace of some of the earlier books in this series was my one and only quibble with them. Not so with this book. Plus, I think it is the nature of a Cinderella retelling that things happen fast.

This book especially packs in A LOT. It is a Cinderella/Snow Queen mash up, and it works SOOOO beautifully. Ella and Yulian both have such heartache in their pasts and both of them have frozen hearts in their own way. I loved their interactions, how they began to thaw each other.

The hardest part of a Cinderella retelling is making it believable that the characters fall in love in a short amount of time, and this book managed to pull it off beautifully. Ella and Yulian are so honest and open with each other (well, mostly, but that would be spoilers) that they learn the depths of each other's hearts very, very quickly.

I'm already itching to re-read this book because it was just so amazing, and I can't WAIT for the next book in the series!
Profile Image for ⋆☆☽ Kriss ☾☆⋆.
574 reviews199 followers
November 5, 2020
When I heard this was a standalone, I was a little disappointed, since the two previous stories were a trilogy and duology that performed excellently--I was worried this being a standalone would really impact it, and, while I do feel like this story didn't have the same amount of emotional impact of Ada and Bonnie's stories and ultimately did not measure up, it was still a nice read.

I'm a big fan of The Snow Queen (the fairy tale), but the connections to that story were relatively scant and mostly condensed down to a few references (like the sleigh and mirrors).

This functions mostly as a Cinderella retelling merged with a Beauty and the Beast retelling and it shares several plot points in common with the previous story that make this seem a little too much like Bonnie's story (for example ).

The pacing, at least for my tastes, was a little too fast. As a Cinderella retelling, the whole thing unfolds in just a few days and, as I'm sure you might guess, having read the previous duology at least really benefits your reading experience. Ornella's tale is summarized at the start of this book, but a lot is still missed/unclear if you haven't already read the establishing stories that came prior.

Although Ornella's constant pessimism was a little grating (like how quickly she assumes Bonnie's motives must've been selfish and that she doesn't care about her when I, having read Bonnie's story, know this is not the case at all), I can appreciate the author's efforts to make Ornella different from Bonnie and Ada in a meaningful way and also separate her from the general Disney vision of Cinderella as a bland, unassuming, overtly kind girl whose only traits are that she's "nice" and is good at housework.

Yulian was much the same; a generally nice princely character who, as a cursed man, has taken on a morbid sense of humor and is very direct because there's no reason not to if he's going to die anyway.

I have a suspicious Keenan and a character introduced in this installment briefly will end up being in a retelling of Snow White, but, we shall see, since Fairuza's story is coming first.

Ah, what else?

As someone who loves winter, I appreciated the atmosphere of the story a lot.
I liked that the stepmother and meanest step-sister got theirs in the end.
I found some of the details that relate back to instances of the fairy tales to be charming additions.
As always, the writing was well done and nice to read.

Although it was a quick, nice read, I can't sing its praises the same way I did for the previous two stories. I didn't connect to Ornella a lot, even though I tend to really empathize with the bullied and abused, and the romance was just too short to offer me much in terms of emotional impact. I kept reading because it was well written and I was mildly interested, but the plot points here just didn't measure up and felt a little formulaic/similar to what the author had bone previously.

Still, I'll be reading Dreamer of Briarfell when it's released in the spring and I will probably buy this one if/when it goes on sale, since the $4 pricetag is a bit much for me just to round out the series and support the author.

Profile Image for Kim.
455 reviews6 followers
December 1, 2020
What a fun retelling of Cinderella!

Ella has recently escaped her tortuous stepmother and step sisters. She is hiding out in Fairy (Winter to be specific), when events take a turn. The detail of the descriptions are beautiful and the back stories of the characters make them so much more relatable than your average fairy tale.

The adventures of how Ella tries to be rescued and the fairies involved is so new I loved reading this. A little bit of redundancy made this not a perfect score but the originality of this series keeps me coming back each time.
14 reviews
March 11, 2020

I have read the first 5books and was in love. This book is a perfect sequel to them! I loved everything about this book
Profile Image for Dannya.
25 reviews21 followers
March 18, 2020

This is by far one of my favorite series. Classic fairy tales beautifully retold.
I can't wait to see what will happen next
Profile Image for Deanie Nelder.
1,131 reviews14 followers
January 10, 2021
Cinderella retellings are everywhere from books to movies, so it takes a lot to come up with a new spin on an old story. The first half of this book is fairly typical Cinderella (except it takes place in a fairy kingdom), but the idea of Ella spending time with the Prince to stop his assassination gives the story a new and entertaining perspective. The blending of elements of different fairy tales together is part of what makes the Fairytales of Folkshore series so much fun, and this does that (between the cursed prince and the magic shoes...) very well.
Profile Image for Angeline.
459 reviews24 followers
February 26, 2020
I was so excited to read this book and it was even better than I expected. Princess of Midnight is the 6th book in Lucy's Fairytales of Folkshore series. But this is the first and only book in her Cinderella retelling. I fell in love with Lucy Tempest's books when I read her Aladdin retellings and this book was just as good. :)
You first meet Ornella, Ella, in Lucy Tempest’s first book, Thief of Cahraman, but you don’t know much about her. When I first read about Ella I knew that Lucy was going to write a book about her. And I was right, yay! But I got even more excited when I saw her in Bonnie’s books.
Ella was such an interesting character. She was a different kind of Cinderella then you usually read about. She was strong, but she was getting tired of losing and of being someone else’s slave. She was also really funny, I had so much fun reading about her. But all Ella wanted was to be free.
Yulian, oh my goodness, I fell in love with him at the beginning. When I first read about him, I knew that I was going to like him. He was so kind and he really wanted to be a good king. He was frozen, but he also showed bits of himself to Ella and I had so much fun getting to know him. Yulian just wanted someone to love him.
Ella and Yulian’s interactions were so funny. They understood each other and were able to empathize with what each went through. Yulian ended up finding someone to love him, and Ella found that being free was different than she could have accepted.
As usual, I have to say that I love the side characters! Especially Keenan. He was so funny, I was laughing so much when I read his parts. I also loved the hint, I see what you did Lucy, for more books. I am always awed by the way Lucy is able to weave together such an interesting tale, putting two totally different fairy tales together. I never would have thought that Cinderella and the Snow Queen could go so well together.
This was such a great book! Princess of Midnight was so cool, it was such a wonderful retelling of well loved fairy tales- Cinderella and the Snow queen. I can’t wait for the next book.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion
Profile Image for Dee/ bookworm.
1,359 reviews4 followers
April 17, 2020
I loved the line "... You could say you sneeze glitter, and I'd believe you." :)
Profile Image for Celia Buell.
574 reviews26 followers
December 13, 2020
I'm glad I waited to get into this until I was truly done with the semester, because it sucked me in.

I never know how to feel after I finish a good book, and the Fairytales of Folkshore series exemplifies that perfectly. The three main characters have all been relatable in different ways, and I've seen parts of myself in Ada, Bonnie, and now Ella. Beyond the ideas of discovering new worlds that you get to be a part of, each of these girls reminds me of me in different ways.

I love a good plot twist also, but the way Lucy Tempest executes these in her writing are always centered around the women in the story, and how they discover their place in Folkshore and Faerie.

This story is the best so far in terms of plot twists. I keep expecting all of the Folkshore novels to be fairly standard fairytale retellings, and then they just blow me away, but Princess of Midnight went beyond all that. I went into this thinking I was starting a Cinderella retelling, but it also mixed in Frozen (not really the story of the original Snow Queen, this had a much lighter outlook), as well as elements from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and the Wizard of Oz.

As always, Tempest also does a great job of leading on to the next story, or the next few. I really want to know who this Snezhana is, her name seems familiar from the Cahraman trilogy but I'm not sure. I am also eagerly anticipating a reunion between the main characters, and I wish we would see more of Ella's story, enough for her to learn that Bonnie and Ada did actually care about her.

Unsurprisingly, I have already bought Dreamer of Briarfell but will probably wait until January to start it. I can't wait to see how my favorite characters factor into Fairuza's story.
February 26, 2020
I’ve been absolutely dying to read this book and I’m so happy it’s here! I was completely enthralled with the series at the start with the Thief of Cahraman and have anxiously awaited the arrival of Lucy’s other retellings. Cinderella is a story that is very close to my heart and Lucy manages to retell reader’s favorite fairytales in classy, interesting ways that make one unable to tear their eyes away. Every time Lucy releases a book I know I have to plan my life around it because I’ll be so hung up on it that everything will have to go on the back burner.

I’m still so excited to see the new covers in person every time I preorder one of these books. The covers are so pretty just on Amazon but nothing beats the actual paperbacks... I worked in a bookstore and we’re supposed to recommend certain books but I always told customers to check out Lucy Tempest’s fairytale retellings and I’ve always had people come back and tell me how shocked they were by how much they loved it.

If you’re skimming through reviews and questioning if you should buy this book pleeeeeease do! You won’t regret it!!
March 4, 2020
Fantastic! Add this one to my favorite retelling of Cinderella!
So much to think about! I will definitely be rereading this book, as there is so much detail and so many intense situations.
Cinderella's abusive situation is fraught with so many emotions, as a reader, you can't help but feel like you're in the thick of it all with her.
The supporting cast of characters makes the story really shine. I especially love their humorous antics.
Profile Image for Katie Twibell.
26 reviews
February 29, 2020
Let’s be honest, Cinderella has so many rewrites it’s slightly ridiculous. I love the story, but it can get a little old so because of both of those reasons, I’m a sucker for a good, truly unique take on the story. That’s exactly what this is! It still has the important elements that make up Cinderella but brought out in such an original way! I just love it from start to finish!
Profile Image for NJ Tor.
31 reviews4 followers
March 1, 2020
A fantastic retelling! I have loved all of the books in this series, and I can't wait to see what happens next! One of my favourite parts is how the stories are all inter-connected through the characters. It's great to see minor characters from previous books get their HEAs. I'm hoping we get to see more of Keenan, as he adds a delightful layer of humour.
February 26, 2020
A great addition to Folkshore!

I have loved the other five books in this series and was eagerly awaiting this Cinderella / Snow Queen mash up. Lucy Tempest does a wonderful job weaving together the two stories to make something entirely new. She has expanded upon the original stories so that you don’t know what is going happen next. We also get to see more of Fairie, which I really enjoyed.

Very excited for the sleeping beauty retelling next!!

I received and ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for PumpkinPi.
84 reviews2 followers
February 28, 2020
LOVED it! I wasn't sure, going in, how well the two fairytales would mesh, but they wove together perfectly! Ella and Yulian's characters and struggles were believable, and made the ending more meaningful. Plus, Keenan! He's a riot, and I can't wait to see more of him. Altogether, Princess of Midnight is probably my favorite installment thus far of the Folkshore retellings.
805 reviews
February 26, 2020
Every book in this series is better than the last and I loved book one! The heroine in this was introduced to us in the very beginning and I have been waiting this whole time to read her story. Totally worth the wait. And the King of Winter was a wonderful character I enjoyed getting to know. Yet again, the author makes use of some expertly applied twists to weave her magical tale. I know I will be reading and rereading this series for years to come. I'm already looking forward to the next book.
I was blessed with a complimentary ARC; all opinions are my own.
February 28, 2020

A marvellous imagination and thoroughly brilliant retelling of much loved story. Enjoyed every page and look forward to the next.
Profile Image for Jami.
90 reviews3 followers
February 27, 2020
Sweet and cold!

This retelling of Cinderella and the Ice Queen is nicely written with its twists. I enjoyed reading this tale and look forward to the next story!
Profile Image for Barbara Lindt.
8 reviews
February 28, 2020
I've come to expect brilliant writing, incredible characters *even the villains—who are so well drawn and thought out you just LOVE to hate* laugh out loud wit, and complex yet effortlessly interweaving reimgingings or beloved fairytales in totally fresh ways from Lucy Tempest.

And in this book, her first standalone retelling, she goes even a step higher in all of the above. Usually in series stories begin to feel predictable or to even flag as the number rises, but in Lucy Tempest's Folkshore, she started with a massive BANG in The Cahraman trilogy and continues to improve with every installment as we dive deeper and deeper into this unique world and get to see the stories of all the girls we were introduced to in the first books. Now I see a newcomer too (Snow White) and I can't wait to read her story next! Or is it Fairuza next?

Whatever comes next, I'm a reader for life for Ms. Tempest and I recommend everyone who likes great writing, clean romance and very, very well-thought out fantasy worlds to pick up the whole series today. You're in for the ride of your life!
Profile Image for Nina Wilson.
3 reviews
February 28, 2020
I gobbled this book up! GOBBLED. IT. UP.

As a die-hard fan of Lucy Tempest's addictive Folkshore series, I'd gotten so used to continuing stories, I was bummed to know Ella got only one book. But boy, was I wrong to worry. Seems she can write whatever she pleases and it will come out incredible anyway.

I don't know how she does it, but Ms. Tempest can hold you riveted to the page whether she's writing a trilogy, a duology or a standalone and FILL every page with unforgettable characters and dialogue and constant action and not make you able to skim one single word. I can't believe how much story she put in one book, how much character development and world building. Now I'm not worried at all about Fairuza's book being another standalone, as I'm now secure Tempest will do her story justice and then some.

Pick up this outstanding read today and treat yourself to a richly imagined superbly written read with fantastic clean romance and a heck of a happy ending! A fairytale as it should be written at last!
55 reviews2 followers
February 26, 2020
I got an advanced readers copy of this book, and as usual, if I like the book, I'll go buy it if I have any extra cash in the monthly book budget. This one made the monthly book pile that I bought.

In the last book we left Ornella, our heroine in this book, in some distress, with another character promising to find her again when the main characters had to finish their quest. Ornellas evil stepmom and stepsisters are trying to recapture her after her earlier escape. This book follows her as she struggles with the challenges her step family brings in addition to trying to save a king that is slowly turning to ice from an unknown assassin.

Not all things are as they seem though, and as the past catches up with the present, some surprising revelations will put a completely new spin on this cinderella/frozen crossover retelling.

I thoroughly enjoyed the character development in this series, and this book is not an exception. This is one of those books that has a high chance of me re-reading it, not just once, but several times.

Profile Image for Melissa.
1,251 reviews62 followers
May 7, 2020
This might be my least favorite in the Fairytales of Folkshore series. That's not to say it was a bad book, just not my favorite when compared to the other stories.

Ella has been a slave for most of her life. Her cruel stepmother and stepsisters care nothing for her happiness and only use her for their gain. She had thought she had escaped them (in the 5th book, probably best to read these in order), but she was wrong. She's in faerie, without friends, and they still want her for their own purposes. But she has some other goals too, like keeping the King safe, and trying to escape their clutches.

While Ella is a compelling character, I'm kind of getting tired of all the girls having a mysterious past and some special secrets. I just want a plain, average girl that's a rock star. While it's fun, it's just been that way with all of them and has gotten kind of repetitive. And the King, well, I know it's kind of part of the story, but I didn't think he had much personality at all.

Really, I felt that this book was more about world-building than story, and while that's fine in some aspects, I think this Cinderella re-telling suffered a bit as a result. It felt more rushed and less descriptive or something. But, back to the world-building, the world of faerie and the different courts I found interesting. I do hope that it's the setting for more of the books, but with more of the plot and dialogue that made the first books so great.

Still a fun, fast read, but just not as compelling as the first few books.

Review by M. Reynard 2020
Profile Image for Catherine.
294 reviews3 followers
April 3, 2020
I loved this retelling! The intertwining of two familiar fairy tales with some clever twists and history from the prior books in the series made this a satisfying story. I especially appreciated that the "marrying someone I just met" and "will marry whoever can wear this glass slipper" bits were addressed.
Profile Image for Amy.
549 reviews9 followers
June 1, 2020
I Can't get iver how much I love this book and series, Absolutely PHENOMENAL!!!
the characters are again FANTASTIC, the worldbuiling breathtakingly beautiful , the story line splendid and the shocking moments UNBELIEVABLE!! I LOVE EVERYTHING
I love Orella, she is strong, resilient, brave and kindhearted, courageous and determined. The torture inflicted on her is unspeakably cruel!! Her stepfamily: Dolora, Darla are MONSTERS, little stepsister is less vicious Aneara literally, they are fairyfolk troll traffickers (steal changlings). They torture, abuse and enslave Ella. Because she is fuel for them to glamor their appearance!!
Important events:
-Ella is in Wintercourt (saved by bonnie's father, joined the quest to save leander and got separated with Keenan to escape her stepfamily in Wintercourt) she and reindeer Oscar are on the run from the stepfam, - saved King of Winter Yulian from a arrow aimed at him by an assasin
-Ella is found by stepfam, tortured and abused in unspeakable ways. Attached anklet burns her foot when she is to far away or tries to fight back, so she can't escape!!
-Keenan finds her at het home in Winter, he is the Autumn prince, cousin Bonnie, Mother Rowena, father Ossian, calls her Cinders is mischievous, cunning and a prankster. (I thought he was to be the love interest...) they escape, but her anklet burns like hell so they have to go back. he goes to search for help
-Ella recieves 'the invitation letter to the royal Midwinter ball in the Castle of Glass, over the course of three nights the king will choose his bride. Ella does - go shopping, a woman wants her hair and service after the ball in exchange for ballgowns. She tells them she is the fuel/ food needed for glamor!! - she owes her the dress so Ella can go to the ball
-ella is abused and she tries to manipulate the monsters so they take her to the ball where she will asks for her freedom in exchange for her saving king Yulian.
-ella's mother couldn't have children and she called orella her miracle (later ella discovers she was a foundling- mother found her at the border of Faery. )
-Ella shows up in her dress to go with them. THEY TORTURE ABUSE CUT HER HAIR AND DESTROY HER DRESS!! then they leave her in the shattered glass
-keenon shows up with Miss Etheline aka sprjng Queen. Ella must detract thr king so Keenan and family can find the assasin. In exchange she may go to the ball. She gifts ella the dress, pumpkin carriage and changed her to a nymph.. the glass slippers were her gift from the fairy games. They are magical.
-keenan a accompanies Ella to the ball. She meets keenan's sister Sorcha and her husband Simeons. (The ball was his idea) then she sees the King 'father frosts!!) He is under the curse (broken promise- Mother bonnie engagement punishment). He is turning to ice!! They talk about there horrible life and bond over it. Until her anklet burns. Apparently it burns when it's almost midnight because a new day is starting!! She runs away with keenan, Yulian follows
-they are on a ice river and collapes, Ella almost drowned but Yulian saved her!!! -keenan got him to help her
-they are back home, more abuse, Aneara tellsher she isn't human, SHE IS A NYMPH!!! Her birthmother was TREENYMPH!!!
-secondnnight, Yulian and Ella dance and talk again. Romance is growing, tells her about his condition and his family some more. Aunt Isloda, abusing and girls only want his title. Ella feels like she is being watched by mirrors
-ROMANTIC SCENE, THE MAGIC SLEIGH RIDE IN THE CLOUDS, NORTHERNLIGHT, He declares his love!!! LOVE THAT SCENE!! he tells her about thr curse!!
- they go back to the castle, she is attacked by the assasin SORCHA!!! ella escapes, but left the slipper!!
-Ella is almost burned!! While she is wood!!
-she goes back to the ball to save Yulian from Sorcha only to be accused her self for attempted murder!! DARLA ALMOST KILLED HER IN ELLA'S APPEARANCE!!!
THATS why they need her, to not change their appearance but ELLA'S APPEARANCE!!! MINDBLOWN
-she is thrown in the prison!! - yulian 'visits' her, he tells her he loved her, she tells him everything, but he doesn't believe her... but he will set her free
- in all her despair the anklet begins to burn, she AT LAST figured out how to break it, SHE TURNS INTO WOOD!!!
-a princess is with her and the teleport to the castle. She discovers the mirror possed Sorcha!!
-ISOLDA IS THE QUEEN IN THE MIRROR!! She posses Ella and tells her story: she wanted Yulian to be a great heir instead he was to kind and weak so she wanted him dead and to be empress of the courts!! If Yulian dies, the court will freeze !! Her brother trapped her in the mirror, have Yulian's mother kill him (with pillow) to later later her fall of the balcony!!!
-yulian breaks the mirrors to set her free and kill her with a icles!!- ella breaks the curse by loving him!! They get officially engaged!!
-darla's punishment is to be slave to the lady of the dress shop and Dolora is turned into a tree!! - Aneara married a man and lives her life without a vicious controlling mother (she saved Keenan who was knocked out by his sister)
-yulian and Ella make a sleighride through the clouds to see the Northernlights and live happily ever after

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa Dawn.
Author 10 books17 followers
February 28, 2020
Did you know that this past Wednesday was National Tell a Fairy Tale Day? That means this is a big week for sales on princess books! I celebrated the joyous occasion by attending another Facebook party with many talented authors. Among those authors, Lucy Tempest released her latest book in the Fairy Tales of Folkshore series promptly time for the holiday. As the newest and shiniest release, Princess of Midnight was the first book I read in honor of National Fairy Tale Day. I had mixed feelings about Lucy Tempest's Thief of Cahraman trilogy and Beast/Beauty of Rosemead duology, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this reimagining of "Cinderella" and the "The Snow Queen." To my delight, I found that it was not only more concise than the other Folkshore novels, but also one of the best adaptations of "Cinderella" that I have ever read.

Princess of Midnight tells the story of Ornella, a minor character from the other books in the Folkshore stories. Though Ornella endured in a life of abuse from her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, this is far from your typical "Cinderella" retelling. Lucy Tempest brilliantly combined various elements of mythology and fairy tales in a creative and engaging way, right down to the often overlooked tree of Cinderella's mother from the Brothers Grimm adaptation. At first, I wasn't sure how "The Snow Queen" could blend with "Cinderella" as the heroines from these tales have very different goals, but when I realized that the cursed ice queen had been gender-swapped with a king who was throwing a ball to find a suitor, it all fell into place like a magical transformation. One of the most common complaints about the story of "Cinderella" is that the prince lacks any defining characteristics or personality. Placing him under an icy curse that makes it difficult for him to warm up to those around him was the perfect way to remedy this. The romance between Ornella and King Yulian based on their similar upbringings was much stronger and more engaging than the previous two love stories from Lucy Tempest's Fairy Tales of Folkshore series.

The book also placed a new spin on Cinderella's abuse. She wasn't exactly forced to obey her stepmother like Ella Enchanted, nor did she do it out of the goodness of her own heart. Ornella was held against her will as a sort of pet for Dolora and her two daughters due to the unusual magical properties that even she was not aware that she had. Her stepfamily of trolls absorbed her powers to make themselves appear more beautiful to the public in an attempt to raise their status in society. Ornella was bound to them by a magic anklet that burned and tortured her if she ever attempted to escape. Of course, that still didn't stop her from trying. She had nearly escaped in the previous book, Beauty of Rosemead, until her stepmother found her and captured her again, this time in the enchanted realm, where she was finally able to uncover the mysterious details of her magical origins. Another thing that made this Cinderella unique was that she had no interest in attending the ball and was instead propositioned by a faery to protect King Yulian from an assassin, which makes this Ella a more proactive character than the one we're more accustomed to seeing.

My biggest caveat with the previous books from the Fairy Tales of Folkshore series was that they spent far too much time on exposition about the protagonists' parents, which forced in unnecessary sequels that revolved around these overly complicated backstories. Princess of Midnight is the strongest book in the series so far because it was written as a standalone novel, culling the exposition of Orenella and Yulian's family histories down to a few tasteful and relevant pages with no arbitrary flashbacks. Unlike Ada and Cyaxares' love story from the Thief of Cahraman trilogy or Bonnie and Leander from the Beast of Rosemead duology, Ella and Yulian were not destined to meet and fall in love based on events that happened to their parents before them, a welcome change from the all-too-convenient trope of theirs predecessors. That's the biggest reason that Ella and Yulian's love story felt so much more genuine. They bonded over shared interests and experiences, not some arbitrary event that took place before they were born.

Lucy Tempest finally got it right with Princess of Midnight. The sixth installment of the Fairy Tales of Folkshore series cleaned up all the issues with the previous books and improved upon the story of "Cinderella," an impressive feat for a tale that has been been retold so many times. Though Ornella's story mirrored Bonnie's in some ways, such as learning that she was a magical being and not the ordinary human girl she grew up as, it also built upon this revelation by making her an outcast who had never experienced love. I recommend Princess of Midnight to anyone who loves princesses, romance, and magic. It was the perfect way to celebration National Fairy Tale Day.
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72 reviews3 followers
September 19, 2020
Content Review:
Language and Romance is clean
There are scenes of abuse in this book that might be triggering for certain audiences. Readers' discretion is advised.

*deep breath*
I have always been a sucker for Cinderella stories, and it's hard to find truly unique ones by this point, but Lucy Tempest absolutely took my breath away in this incredible reimagining of Cinderella and the Snow Queen.
Ornella shines as a Cinderella as you've never seen her before- snarky, brutally enslaved, trapped in a winter wonderland, and preventing an assassination. King Yulian of Winter battles a curse that threatens to doom him and his kingdom, but Ella could be the warmth he needs to melt.
This is the kind of book where you're so engrossed you don't realize how late the hour has gotten. The book was fast paced but not rushed. The romance was swoon-worthy and delightful. The character development and moral crises in this book gave this book a wonderful depth. Five stars!!

Recommended for fans of K.M Shea and Brittany Fichter
21 reviews
March 1, 2020
I enjoyed this twist on Cinderella and the Ice Queen. Can I just say, Poor Ella! Also poor King Yulian! The story with those two is sweet and is relatable to anyone trying to find someone who can understand them. As is usual with Lucy Tempest, her descriptions of persons and places is just enough to satisfy, but not so much she leave you not wanting more.

This was a pretty clean read. No swearing, no gross "romance", and not graphic violence. I would feel comfortable letting my 12 year old read this and talking about how some of us are blessed with lives not full of the abuse others encounter and how we can help them, or offer support to them so they feel safe with us.
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268 reviews3 followers
June 10, 2021
I feel guilty to say I didn't enjoy this as much as I had hoped to. I love the 4 other books I read from her so I thought this was going to be my favorite too. It was really boring and I didn't really like the winter king all that much. I loved her other love interests though like Cyrus and Robin. I read Dreamer of Briarfell yesterday and was absolutely in love with it. There was more action and I feel like the romance was well developed. It wasn't like they fell in love with each other in just a few days like Ella and Yulian had. It felt imo a bit too insta love but I enjoy more slow burn.
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