Christian is one of the princes who has been sent to Breton on a marriage mission. Unlike Poppy, however, he is welcomed into Tuckington Palace. After his host Prince George gives him a tedious tour of the palace, Christian is shown to his room just as a rather frazzled maid was trying to lay the fire. She is jumpy and covered in soot, and receives a scolding from Prince George for not laying the fire earlier. Christian feels a bit like a fish out of water here. His own court is much more casual, and they certainly treat their servants more kindly.
Ellen Parker, meanwhile, is not too happy with her existence as a maid. This isn’t her life…at least it shouldn’t be. She had once been Eleanora Park-Whittington, meant to be served, not a servant. But that was a long time ago, before her father had lost everything. The Seadowns are not the first family that Ellen has worked for, but they might be her last. She is abysmal as a maid; prone to dropping, spilling, smashing and messing things up with the soot that she seems to trail around.
These three didn’t end up together in Breton by accident. There is magic afoot, which becomes apparent when a spectacular stranger starts attending the balls of the season. This beautiful woman who arrives unescorted in an extraordinary carriage calling herself Lady Ella, seems to throw everyone into a thrall. She is dressed exquisitely right down to her astounding shoes that seem to be made of glass! All of the men in attendance are soon clamoring to dance with her, but she only has eyes for Prince Christian. Only Poppy, who has been so intimate with magic, seems to understand that something dark is at play.
Jessica Day George has written a beautiful blend of romance, mystery and re-imagined fairytale. Ellen Parker certainly gives a new twist to the Cinderella character, and will make readers think about wishes and entitlement. Princess of Glass is part of a series, but is easily read as a stand alone. I had not read Princess of the Midnight Ball that features Poppy and her sisters, and I had no trouble jumping right into this title. Filled with magic, both dark and light, as well as memorable settings and characters, Princess of Glass is sure to have readers up late into the night, turning pages to find out what happens!