Thursday, 8 December 2011

Review: Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

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. Ball gowns, 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.

I was so excited when I saw that there was a companion novel to ‘Princess of the Midnight Ball’ – I really loved the retelling of the twelve dancing princesses and was looking forward to seeing what happened to them after the ‘happily ever after’.

Poppy was a brilliant princess to give a new adventure to – she’s sassy and intelligent and so competent that it had me smiling whenever she bested the boys or made her point. She was a brilliant guide through the maze of enchantments, with her tenacity and determination and complete and utter faith that they can beat this thing. And she actually has the brains to gape at the hero when he suggests marriage, and points out that she’s only 16 and maybe in a few years… I wanted to cheer at this point – finally a heroine with her head screwed on straight that doesn’t fall over and swoon at the first boy that makes her flutter. I know I know, there are a lot of them out there really, Poppy really just makes a point of it, and it made me smile.

I could have done with a bit more development on the boys characters, they all remained a little bit flat, which was a shame given how much I loved Galen in the first book. Perhaps it was due to the multiple romances being handled at once, but Dickon and Roger never really lifted off the page for me which was a shame.

I really loved the fresh take on Cinderella – it made the tale fresh whilst harking back to fairy tales we know and love. And the magic and suspense were both brilliantly handled. But there felt like there was a lot left unexplained. Poppy had persistent nightmares, which are never fully explained by the end. Are they simply residual terrors from her dancing days, which was slightly indicated in that she grew more and more bored with them throughout the book – or were they actually a hint of something more. It felt like they were something more, so I hope that we do get that resolved in another book, because it was left hanging in this book.

My only real problem with the book was the big showdown with the big bad towards the end. There was so much build up, handled brilliantly, throughout the rest of the book – and some really spine tingling terrifying moments, that I was expecting a big proper show down with peril and everything.
And there really wasn’t. It was more, hey I don’t fancy this, let’s run away! And they all lived happily ever after. It just felt like such a cop out after everything they’d been through throughout the rest of the story that it ruined the book a bit for me – hence the low rating. 

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