From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–George continues with her novelization of fairy tales by placing Princess Poppy, one of three surviving sisters from Princess of the Midnight Ball (Bloomsbury, 2009) at the center of a Cinderella plot that includes a bewitchingly evil premise. The magic that forced all 12 princesses to dance incessantly is reversed, and Poppy is sent for a respite to Seadown House, where the last thing she wishes to do is attend parties to dance. It is there that she encounters a maid whose misfortune has landed her in her present state of servitude after losing her family, inheritance, and stature as the daughter of an Earl. Ellen is not the best maid–she's resentful, clumsy, awkward, inept, and quite useless, often causing accidents and irreparable damage. She misses her upper-class socializing, so when an important invitation to a ball arrives at Seadown, Ellen is determined to go with the aid of a nefarious godmother, “the Corley,” who is also responsible for the wickedly construed misfortunes in Princess Poppy's family. George weaves in elements from the first novel in a somewhat convoluted and drawn-out narrative in which the evil magic is finally conquered through Poppy's knowledge and previous experience. This Cinderella story serves more as a subplot to the action surrounding the principal character and pales in comparison to Diane Stanley's Bella at Midnight (HarperCollins, 2006), Donna Jo Napoli's Bound (S & S, 2004), or Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997).Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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. Grades 6-10. --Melissa Moore