BOOK 1: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Princess of Glass description:
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.
While the first one really stood out for taking on a less well known fairy tell, this one did it by going completely in an unlikely direction for a rather overdone one. This is Cinderella like it’s never been told before, and I’ve read my fair share of Cinderella retellings. This book takes place a little while after Princess of the Midnight Ball, and deals with Poppy who is in a sort of royal exchange program, because after all those princes were killed in the first book connections with other kingdoms are a bit iffy. Then, as much as she never wants to dance again (understandably), she’s talked into going to a ball where she recognizes a poor servant girl who is dressed finer than anyone else there, but Poppy’s the only one that sees the girl for who she really is. This alone makes this very different, for it’s Cinderella being viewed through an outsider. Poppy is simply the princess trying to solve the mystery of what magical threat may be afoot. It was nice to see other kingdoms, and have new characters, but also having someone beyond them be the center of the fairy tale. But if you think it’s going to be in any way a sweet rags to riches story, you have another thing coming. And that thing is dark and vengeful. A perfect sequel, with even more excitement to come.