Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Princess of Glass

Title:               Princess of Glass
Category:       Fantasy
Grade:            6-10
Author:          Jessica Day George
Publisher:       Bloomsbury
:              New York
Date:               2010
Pages:             257
Princess Poppy has had her fill of dancing since she was freed from the curse that forced her and her sisters to dance every night.  Avoiding it can be difficult however, since her kingly father has sent her to a neighboring kingdom as part of an “exchange program” designed to encourage the young royalty to find their future mates.  Handsome Prince Christian may not be able to change her mind, but he certainly is a fine companion.  Unfortunately for Poppy, an enigmatic and completely hapless servant, Eleanora, seems to have her sights set on the prince as well.  When Eleanora begins arriving at a series of balls and fetes dressed in magnificent gowns and jewels that outshine Poppy, her friends and the queen herself, Poppy is certain another curse is at work.  However, forcing Eleanora to tell the truth behind her mysterious benefactor may not be easy, especially since Christian seems to be falling for the servant girl, and Poppy will need both determination and wit to solve the puzzle before time runs out.
George did some nice things in this novel, and it was entertaining; however, several glaring flaws must be accounted.  First, the book is a sequel, which was not clear from the cover or the blurbs.  Much of the story refers repeatedly to events that happened in the prior story, leaving the new reader with several gaps difficult to infer completely.  I would strongly recommend reading the first book, Princess of the Midnight Ball, before attempting this one, as the confusion may deter weaker readers.  The story is a variation of “Cinderella,” which readers should recognize quickly.  The ending, however, was extremely sparse, and poorly told.  While several mysteries were cleared up with semi-satisfying explanations, the explanations themselves suffer from information given in the first book that does not transfer completely to the second.  The ending itself was almost too easy, and I certainly questioned the villain’s lack of fortitude in the final battle.  The prince was able to see through her spells and solve the final puzzle with barely a break in stride – a disappointment when she seemed far more powerful through the earlier parts of the story.  That aside, preteen or young teen girls may enjoy the story simply for the fairy tale elements or the romance.  A mildly entertaining read that may be recommended to some specific audiences, but not necessarily a favorite.


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