I’m not who you think I am.
My transformation from a poor, orphaned scullery maid into the enchantingly mysterious lady who snagged the heart of the prince did not happen—as the rumors insisted—in a magical metamorphosis of pumpkins and glass slippers. On the first evening of the ball, I didn’t meekly help my “evil” stepmother and stepsisters primp and preen or watch forlornly out the window as their carriage rolled off toward the palace. I had other preparations to make.
My stepsisters and I had been trained for this—to be the cleverest in the room, to be quick with our hands and quicker with our lies. We were taught how to get everything we wanted in this world, everything men always kept for themselves: power, wealth, and prestige. And with a touchingly tragic past and the help of some highly illegal spells, I would become a princess, secure our fortunes, and we would all live happily ever after.
But there’s always more to the story. With my magic running out, war looming, and a handsome hostage prince—the wrong prince—distracting me from my true purpose with his magnetic charm and forbidden flirtations, I’m in danger of losing control of the delicate balance I’ve created . . . and that could prove fatal.
There’s so much more riding on this than a crown.
In this retelling of the Cinderella story by D. J. Soria, the author has created a layered and complex story with incredibly compelling characters, tons of intrigue and a truly magical tale.
One of the reasons that this story is so fascinating is just how D. J. Soria mixes and retells the Cinderella legend from a very new point of view. The premise and execution are intoxicating and pull you into the novel so much that I couldn’t stop reading the story. I also love how magic works in the world, especially how magic has toxic elements just like natural elements like coal.
One of the other reasons that the story really is so compelling is how complex and layered the characters are. Neither Ash or Rance are black and white. Each of them has flaws but each also has reasons for their behavior. I also love that the prince that Ash is supposed to wed is equally complex. Even the stepsisters are compelling and interesting. And the political overtones and monetary intrigues are grounded in the solid reality of how people behave in society creating a believable and realistic world.
If you love twists on fairy tales or true love with snarky cynical characters, this is the novel for you. The characters, each and every one, are layered and complex in their behavior and in their interactions with each other. The world and magic are well built and incredibly compelling. The ending is perfect. I loved every minute of my time in this world and with these characters.
Rating: 5 out of 5 dust.