Thursday, September 16, 2010

Princess of Glass Review (Jessica Day George)

Having once been cursed to dance every night with her sisters, Princess Poppy has vowed never again to put on a pair of dancing slippers. Which is why she's reluctant to participate in the royal exchange program that her father and some of their neighbor kings have cooked up.

Life in far-off Breton isn't so bad, not when there's money to be won playing cards and a handsome prince promising friendship . . . and maybe something more. But when a hapless servant named Eleanora enters the picture and sets her sights on the prince, too, which girl will win his heart? And who is behind the magnificent gowns and slippers that the penniless Eleanora has been wearing to the balls? Only Princess Poppy can see through the magic that holds the rest of the kingdom in its spell. And having fought against one curse before, she's just the girl to take on another!

Once more, I am impressed with Jessica Day George's male and female characters. It is a great mark of talent nowadays when an Author can write interactions between male and female characters (especially ones that are meant to end up together in the end) without making it annoying. I absolutely hate these "playful" banters - and I'm talking about the ones where the girl pretends to be all tough and hate the man, when in fact she is sweet on him, and visa-versa. It is so modern and overall aggravating. It isn't funny; not in my opinion, and Authors do it so much now, which results in the unfortunate occurrence of both characters being irritating beyond words.

Christian, Prince of the Danelaw, is not irritating. He isn't Galen from Princess of the Midnight Ball, but he is just as likable. The Reader cannot help but feel sorry for him when he falls under the spell. You don't want to see him acting stupid, and you end up feeling embarrassed for him (and Dickon) when he makes a fool of himself. But poor Christian isn't to blame, and he struggles valiantly and realizes fairly quickly that something is not right.

Poppy is spirited and not the most ladylike woman around, but she isn't what my sister and I call a "leather-bra-wearing-kick-butt-I-can-do-absolutely-anything-despite-my-noodle-arms" girl who stomps around in clothes that will produce uncouth comments from males, but gets mad when this happens, but is secretly flirting in her anger. She is tough, sharp-witted, and certainly isn't afraid of getting her hands dirty. She does what needs to be done, and yet retains the attitude and grace a woman of late eighteen to early nineteenth-century would have. She's practical, and I absolutely love practical-minded female characters.

The story itself was intriguing. I have read many variations of Cinderella, and this was one of the best. Cinderella - or Ella, as she is usually called in variations - was always the focus of the story, and portrayed as the absolute victim. This one portrayed things a little differently, and I actually didn't like her at first. Even when it is revealed that she is, overall, a victim, she isn't the strong-willed girl most Authors like to see her as, but shy and frightened. It was a very interesting version to read, and in some ways it is my favorite.

I rather hope Jessica Day George writes more stories with the twelve princesses from Princess of the Midnight Ball. I would like to know what happens to the others, and I'm certain there are plenty of fairy tales for Jessica Day George to build around. I'm certainly adding this one along with its companion to my collection.
Star Rating: 5/5 (this book was amazing)

Read Hazel West's review here!

Others in This Series:
1)Princess of the Midnight Ball
2)Princess of Glass

3)Princess of the Silver Woods

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