Cinder & Glass by Melissa de la Cruz [in School Library Journal]
Bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz remarkably has two 2022 Cinderella adaptations: The Stolen Slippers, introducing not-evil stepsisters, and this, in which “Cendrillon” is a Lady in King Louis XIV’s Versailles Court. So much of de la Cruz’s exceptional retelling – with even a nod to 17th-century French storyteller Charles Perrault – is historically accurate, seamlessly intertwined with a familiar tale made cleverly new.
Yes, Cendrillon is orphaned, forced to serve her evil stepmother and stepsisters, loses a shoe fleeing a royal ball, is chosen by the crown prince (the Dauphin here – because it’s French). But de la Cruz is magnificently unpredictable, setting up a 25-way The Bachelor-esque competition, including a gay romance, adding a real-life illegitimate royal.
Prolific narrator Lauren Ezzo is an ideal complement, smoothly manifesting vivacious (sometimes resigned) Cendrillon, cunning Lady Catherine, spoiled Severine, nervous Alexandre, loyal Elodie, besotted Auguste.
Verdict: A perfectly matched pair deliver a rewarding happily ever after.
From the introduction: For the latest audio roundup, we turn to titles inspired by fairy tales and mythology, each published in 2022. Rewriting, adapting, subverting the familiar has long been a popular literary trope – who can argue with universal appeal? Cinderella, especially, continues to be an evergreen favorite, appearing in multiple stories, often in surprising permutations. Read (and listen) on!
Readers: Young Adult