Monday, July 5, 2010
Review: Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Title: Princess of Glass
Author: Jessica Day George
Pub. Date: 5.25.10
Keywords: Fairytale, Retellings, Cinderella, Love, Family, Hidden Identity, Magic
Description (from GoodReads):
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.
As a fan of fairy tale retellings, I'm always excited to hear that Jessica Day George is releasing a new novel. Her retellings always offer a unique twist, while incorporating small details that allow the reader to clearly identify the original tale.
With PRINCESS OF GLASS, George retellls the classic tale of Cinderella in a way readers have never seen before. George's version features a dark love triangle and a not-so-nice fairy godmother, causing my childhood perceptions of Cinderella's story to crumble. While PofG does have a more sinister feel than the original, I feel that younger readers will have no issue with its content. In my mind, PofG is more of a middle grade novel than young adult, though readers of any age will enjoy it.
Readers are briefly introduced to Poppy in George's PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL and I was delighted to find that she is PRINCESS OF GLASS' main character. Poppy is smart, independent, and skilled with a deck of cards. I definitely think that I better understood Poppy's motivations and attitude in PofG because I read PatMB first, but it isn't required to identify with Poppy or enjoy the novel.
I loved the villain in PofG. I think that this aspect of the novel was the element that made it truly unique. After all, who suspects the fairy godmother to be the villain? Even more compelling is the why behind her nefarious deeds.
The only part of the novel that I was bothered by was the prince. I found him to be exceedingly bland and extremely easy to manipulate. This unfortunately, ruined the romantic elements of the plot. I would have liked someone with a bit more fire for Poppy. Luckily, the rest of the novel made up for my disappoinment in the prince.
I highly recommend George's retellings. They're light, quick reads and always entertaining!
I must say, I liked the cover of PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL better than this one. This cover looks too MG for a YA novel, which probably explains, in part, why I feel like PRINCESS OF GLASS is more MG than YA.