Genre(s): YA Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance
Age Level: Young Adult
Release Date: April 7, 2020
3 out of 5 stars
What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper?
Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella starts work at the palace as a seamstress. However, when Cinderella finds herself witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king – and the prince – out of power, she is faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom.
Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present… before it’s too late.
I fell in love with the concept right after reading the synopsis. I grew up with Disney fairytales and Cinderella was one of my favourites! The idea of diving into the story from another angle and seeing what would happen if she had never tried on the glass slipper was such an intriguing premise to me. I knew I had to read this one right away.
Before you read on, my thoughts are a tad bit spoilery so read on with caution!
This book started off with the part of the story we all know – a magical time at the ball with the prince, the clock striking midnight, and Cinderella running away while leaving behind a glass slipper. While the Grand Duke went around the entire kingdom having every young maiden try on the glass slipper, Cinderella was hidden by her evil step mother and ultimately did not get to try it on.
I loved getting to know Cinderella and the prince’s backstory as well as have their current situations flushed out a lot more in this book. We got to know Cinderella as a strong, resilient, and hard-working girl that learned through her experiences and knew from the get-go that a man could not be the source of her happiness, while also accepting the fact that she did have feelings for the prince though.
In the original fairytale, we didn’t learn much about the prince aside from the fact that he was super handsome. This book goes into detail about who the prince is, his motivations, struggles, and priorities – this prince wanted to marry for love and cared a lot about the poor people of the kingdom.
Admittedly, it seemed a little bit “too easy” to have the prince advocate for poor people (since Cinderella was poor) and for him and the king both to not care if a commoner became a princess, let alone a queen. It would have been more realistic if the king did care that Cinderella was a commoner but was willing to help her ease into her new role and learn about what it means to be princess.
This book brought the Cinderella story that I know so well from my childhood and developed it into a more realistic, practical, and satisfying love story. Yes, Cinderella seemed a little bit naive at times and some things just happened too easily but I think it also stayed true to its fairytale-ness and fit the Disney theme very well.
If you love fairytales and want to figure out how Cinderella becomes princess without trying on the glass shoe, you’ll want to read this one and I promise it’ll not be as you expect!
Do you enjoy fairytale retellings? Let me know your thoughts and if you plan on adding this one to your tbr!