Princess Poppy is one of the famous twelve dancing princesses. The spell has been broken by her now brother-in-law Galen, but there is political tension amongst the kingdoms due to the death of so many princes who tried and failed to break the spell.
In order to restore good will and strengthen alliances the various monarchs agree to send some of their children, the princes and princesses, on visiting trips to make friends with each other. Of course this is also an excellent opportunity for the heirs to the thrones to also find a spouse. All of the unmarried dancing princesses are sent off to different kingdoms and Princess Poppy finds herself in Breton. Prince Christian of the Danelaw also finds himself being sent to Breton.
Poppy and Christian do become friends but their friendship (and potential romance) is threatened when a mysterious and beautiful young girl, calling herself Lady Ella, appears at a royal gala. Not only does she seem to bewitch every young man present but she also has the audacity to wear a more resplendent copy of Princess Poppy’s gown.
But something isn’t right. Poppy knows magic when she sees it – after all she danced in an enchanted world every night of her life until the spell was broken. She knows who the girl is, but can’t figure out where she is getting her beautiful gowns or fabulous dancing slippers (they appear to be glass!). Nor can she understand the motives behind all the magic. She needs all the help she can get to rescue the girl and break the enchantress’ hold.
Jessica Day George does a wonderful job giving a new twist to Cinderella. I really enjoyed that “Cinderella” was not the main character but that her story was woven into a sequel of another fairytale. Looking forward to reading more of Jessica Day George’s books! Especially Princess of the Midnight Ball which tells how Galen broke the spell Poppy and her sisters were under.