The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist was released a few weeks ago. And for me, it is one of the prettiest book covers of the year. I don't see the mask quite clearly but that combination of blues and greens on the cover--without a water theme!--make it very eye-catching. And this is apparently the first in a series.
Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . . .
Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face--including Wilha herself.
When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.
But that doesn't highlight that the book is considered a Cinderella story of sorts thus bringing it to SurLaLune attention.
Review highlights courtesy of Amazon:
“...the story shines with potential. Light romance and strong female characters make it an ideal choice for tween girls, and the dual viewpoint narration aids the plot's momentum. This delightfully fanciful tale will find a captive audience among fans of Gail Carson Levine.”
-School Library Journal
“Lundquist’s debut YA novel combines elements of Cinderella with The Man in the Iron Mask to create a page-turner about twin princesses separated at birth. …With its swift pace, charismatic heroines, and all kinds of intrigue, Lundquist sets up a compelling and detailed history for her kingdoms, with legends of strong women rulers. Fantasy readers will eagerly await the promised second title."
“A novel of royal intrigue.”
Of course, Lundquist has written another book Seeing Cinderella which was published last year. So she likes Cinderella themes and plays with them from high fantasy to contemporary settings, for YA and middle readers. Yay her!
Magical realism and a modern Cinderella story makes for a fun and relatable M!X read.
Sixth grade is not going well for Calliope Meadow Anderson. Callie’s hair is frizzy, her best friend, Ellen, is acting weird, and to top things off, she has to get glasses. And her new specs aren’t even cute, trendy glasses—more like hideously large and geeky. But Callie soon discovers that her glasses have a special, magical perk: When she wears them, she can read people’s thoughts. Crazy glasses aside, Callie has more drama to face when she’s cast as the lead in the school play—and instead opts to be an understudy, giving the role of Cinderella to Ellen. Can Callie’s magic glasses help her see her way to leading lady, or is she destined to stay in the background forever?