Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Book: Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Princess of Glass

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George came out in May.  As I was looking back over my entries for the month, I realized that I hadn't written it up yet.  I thought I had.  That is what kind of month May was to me.  Of course, maybe I did write it up and my old computer ate it.  I'll believe it if you will.

Princess of Glass is the sequel to George's previous Princess of the Midnight Ball, a novel that drew from Twelve Dancing Princesses for inspiration.  This new one draws primarily from Cinderella. a rather clever title since I couldn't guess the fairy tale for sure when I first saw the title months ago.  (I admit part of me was rather hoping for Princess on the Glass Hill, a Norwegian tale, that really isn't too obscure.  How cool would that have been!  Oh my, now I want to write that one myself....)  Not to diminish George's work at all, mind you.  I was merely waxing wistful.

Here is a synopsis from George's website:

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 Ellen is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, 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.

This book includes knitting patterns that are key to the plot. I will also be posting more knitting patterns here that correspond with with the story.
And a review from Booklist:

"On the heels of the success of Princess of the Midnight Ball (2009), George’s sequel follows one sister, Poppy, to Breton. While staying with her Seadown cousins, Poppy’s eye is caught by Christian, the Crowne Prince of Danelaw, and a romance begins to bud. But a maid in the Seadowns’ home, Eleanora, somehow manages to get a gown and attend the ball, appearing to cast a spell over the men in attendance. In a clever reworking of the Cinderella story, George once again proves adept at spinning her own magical tale. Fans of Donna Jo Napoli’s retellings will cheer loudly as George proves her own mettle."
But back to that bit about knitting.  Now that is one skill I have never acquired although I am deft with cross stitch.  I have been tempted at times to take a class.  I have no close friends or family who knit which may also explain why I never learned even the basics although I know about them in theory from years of reading.  George's patterns are on her website, but alas no pictures yet. 

But to end, since I haven't read the book yet, I will share George's reasons for writing the book.  She asked herself so many of the same questions I have always had about both Cinderella and Twelve Dancing Princesses.  As a former ballet dancer, I understand the wearing out slippers bits.  When I retired my toe shoes for good, I promised myself I would never wear a pair of uncomfortable shoes again, hence no true high heels appear in my wardrobe. 

As I was working on Princess of the Midnight Ball, I mentioned to several people that I couldn’t imagine anything worse than dancing all night until your shoes wore out. Then it occurred to me that dancing in glass slippers might possible be just as bad: would the glass bend? What if the slippers shattered, and cut your feet? And I had a sudden image of a young girl trying desperately to hold still while someone molded liquid glass onto her feet with glassblowing tools.

I had never meant to do another fairy tale retelling, and certainly not Cinderella, which has been beautifully retold a number of times. But that image of the blown glass slippers would not leave my head, and then there was the idea that my twelve princesses would never want to dance again . . . so what if they had to? Or at least one of them, anyway. While I was writing Midnight Ball, I also had a devil of a time keeping some of the middle princesses straight, except for Poppy. Any time I needed someone to say something snarky, Poppy came forward to volunteer, and so I leaped at the chance to give her a book of her very own.

This book is also my little homage to Regency romances, set in my own version of early 19th century England!
And I admit to a weakness for Regency romances, so I really should order this one.  It's not available for my Kindle, so I will have to wait a few more days, but I think it just may hit the spot for some early June reading.  Besides my copy of Princess of the Midnight Ball would be lonely without it.  As well as Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, another fairy tale retelling by George. 

Princess of the Midnight Ball  Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow


  1. I can't wait to read this. I loved Princess of the Midnight Ball, and Poppy was my favorite princess. I was thrilled when I learned she was getting her own book.

  2. I actually integrated knitting into teaching fairy tales - it worked better than I thought it might! So thank you for posting about these books - I'm off to find copies.