What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball? Or when the slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl? What happens when Cinderella is determined to oust an imposter prince from her rightful throne? Or when she is a cendrillon miner working from a space station orbiting a cthonian planet? What happens when Cinderella, a humble housemaid, is sent with a message for a prisoner trapped in a frightening fairy circus?
Here is Cinderella as you have never met her before, wearing glass slippers and off on unforgettable adventures!
Since this is an anthology I'm going to review each story separately, then the volume as a whole.
WHAT EYES CAN SEE: Elisabeth Brown
Painfully shy Arella begs her stepmother to let her stay home from the prince’s ball. But kindly Duchess Germaine is determined that her beautiful stepdaughter should be presented at court along with her own two daughters. So, dressed in a gorgeous gown and a pair of heirloom slippers, Arella catches the eye of the crown prince . . . and finds her life suddenly far more complicated than she ever desired.I found I enjoyed this story more after reading it, letting it sink in a bit, then while reading it. Arella was written a little inconsistently for my tastes. At least she seemed so--her older stepsister Drusilla painted her alternately as a helpless, timid and naive young girl or as an ungrateful, spoiled child. She was really somewhere in between, but I never found myself liking her over much. And while I applauded the fact that the "Prince" finally came around to the sensible way of thinking, I didn't like him at all nor could see what Drusilla saw in him.
BROKEN GLASS: Emma Clifton
The slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl! Rosalind never once danced with Prince Marius at the ball, for she is in love with his brother Henry. If only Rosalind and Marius would stop bickering long enough to invent a scheme, perhaps the three of them can find the real mystery lady. But they must work quickly, for dark deeds are afoot, and the kingdom is poised on the brink of disaster.I loved this story, it was my second favorite in fact (after A CINDER'S TALE). I loved that Rosalind was determined to have the life she wanted and that Marius was determined to be happy in whatever marriage he ended up in. And while Henry irritated me at first, it became quickly obvious he was really the only one with a brain. Plus hey wasn't that ending for the "villain" just perfect for a sequel...?
THE WINDY SIDE OF CARE: Rachel Heffington
Alisandra is determined to have her rights. She knows that she is the king’s secretly dispossessed daughter, the true heir to the throne. Prince Auguste is an imposter, and if she plays her cards right, Alis will prove it to the world! That is, if charming Auguste doesn’t succeed in winning her heart before she gets her chance . . .I disliked this story. I had so much trouble following it that I almost considered skipping it altogether. Something about it felt so disjointed and slap dash. I kind of saw where the author was going, but the transitions between scenes and the narrative flow was all over the place.
A CINDER’S TALE: Stephanie Ricker
It’s a dangerous life, yet Elsa wouldn’t trade this opportunity to work at Tremaine Station, mining cendrillon from the seething surface of planet Aschen. Nevertheless, when a famous deep space explorer and his handsome son dock their starcraft at the space station, Elsa finds herself dreaming of far galaxies beyond Aschen's blistering heat. There is no time for dreaming, however, when danger threatens the space station, and Elsa and her fellow miners are tested to the limits of their courage.First - let me tell you how happy I am that there will be MORE of this universe in the winter! THE CENDRILLION CYCLE explores more of Elsa and the Cinders universe and I can't wait. Second - while this was the farthest out in terms of being tied to the original tale, I thought it presented the best "spirit" for the fairy tale. The other stories, by in large, stuck with the basics, but Ricker twisted everything around and gave us something truly intriguing and enthralling (IMHO).
THE MOON MASTER’S BALL: Clara Diane Thompson
After her terrifying experience there several years ago, the one place young housemaid Tilly longs to avoid is Bromley’s Circus. But when kindly Lord Hollingberry begs her to deliver a message to the mysterious Moon Master hidden away among the circus dwellers, Tilly can’t refuse . . . and finds herself ensnared in a web of enchantment cast by the loathsome Mrs. Carlisle and her beautiful goddaughter.I was a little lost in this story, and expected something far more sinister to occur then what ended up being the case, but I liked the spin on this. The fact that Tilly has to learn to not only fight for herself but also to look beyond the outside was well received.
So in all I enjoyed this collection and I look forward to Rooglewood Press's next collection (based around Beauty and the Beast...in fact you can enter for a chance to be part of the collection! Check out the page here for more details).