cover image Cinder & Glass

Cinder & Glass

Melissa de la Cruz. Putnam, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-32665-7

Set in 1682 France, this progressive “Cinderella” reimagining from de la Cruz (the Queen’s Assassin duology) takes inspiration from stories about Louis XIV’s court. When le Marquis de Louvois and his 15-year-old daughter, Cendrillon, move from the country to a chateau near Versailles, Cendrillon hopes to follow in her late mother’s footsteps and become a lady-in-waiting to royalty. Those dreams are dashed, however, when her father dies unexpectedly after marrying a virtual stranger. Cendrillon’s new stepmother, Lady Catherine Monvoisin, fires every servant but seamstress Elodie, 15, and forces Cendrillon to cook and clean for her and her daughters. Desperate to improve her own situation as well as Elodie’s, Cendrillon (posing as “Lady Cinder”) accompanies her godmother to a ball thrown to find Prince Louis a bride. Louis chooses Cendrillon, her stepsisters, and 22 others vie for his heart in a The Bachelor–style competition, but Cendrillon’s feelings for Louis’s illegitimate half brother, Auguste, make concentrating on it difficult. De la Cruz offsets a slow start and slight plot with bold, self-empowered female characters, rich historical detail, and tender queer and straight romances. All characters cue as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3Arts Entertainment. (Mar.)