Marshmallow reviews Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess

Almost exactly a year ago, Marshmallow reviewed Thornwood by Leah Cypess, a neat retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, which started the author’s Sisters Ever After series. Today she reviews the second book in this series, Glass Slippers, which adds some interesting twists to the well-known Cinderella story.

Marshmallow reviews Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow reviews Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about sisters, magic, and mystery, or if you enjoy retellings of fairy tales, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Tirza is the youngest stepsister of Queen Ella or Cinderella. After Ella became the queen, she banished her two older and wicked stepsisters to a different country but kept Tirza with her because Tirza was only five when Cinderella went to the famous ball.

Queen Ella is always very kind to Tirza, though it seems very artificial. Nobody else in the castle even tries to act kind; they all mistrust her and are cruel to her. Tirza is used to all this, but then she makes a bad mistake. One day, she finds the famous glass slippers out in Queen Ella’s room, and tries them on. Of course she puts them back where she found them, but this doesn’t matter because the slippers disappear and Tirza becomes the only suspect. Naturally nobody believes her when she says that she didn’t do it. Queen Ella nonetheless tries to continue to be nice to her.

Eventually the evidence against her becomes overwhelming and Tirza has to leave the kingdom. She decides to join her older sisters and plan a way to defeat and overthrow Cinderella. But the truth is much more complicated than it seems. Tirza must find out who is really evil: Cinderella or her real sisters or maybe someone else? Along the way, she must also come face to face with the fact that magic is not as nice as she had believed it to be.

Marshmallow is reading Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow is reading Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that Glass Slippers is a very interesting book. Readers of this blog know that I love retellings of fairy tales. But the plot here was so unpredictable! I had no idea that things were going to be so different from the original fairytale. It was also strange to see the fairies and the famous glass slippers of the original story become scarier and actually sort of bad as things evolved. I can’t say more than that because I don’t want to give away too much, but quite a few surprises are on the way for those bunnies who end up reading this book.

I also found it interesting that the characters were all realistic. In fairy tales some people are purely good and you know from the start. And others are really bad and you know from the beginning, too. In Glass Slippers, you don’t know who is good and who is evil until the end. Even so, the ending was quite different than I had expected. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess 95%.
Marshmallow rates Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Thornwood by Leah Cypess

Marshmallow has reviewed several books inspired by fairy tales before. See, for example, her reviews of A Tale Dark and GrimTuck EverlastingElla Enchanted, and Half Upon A Time. She has also enjoyed the whole School for Good and Evil series, which also explores fairy tales and their characters in depth. Today she writes about Thornwood by Leah Cypess, a book inspired by the story of Sleeping Beauty.

Marshmallow reviews Thornwood by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow reviews Thornwood by Leah Cypess.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books that retell classic fairy tales, or if you enjoy reading books about sisters, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Briony’s sister Rosalin was cursed when she was a baby. The evil fairy queen said that when she turned sixteen, she would prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Luckily, Rosalin’s fairy godmother changed the curse slightly, so instead of dying, she would sleep for a hundred years, along with everyone else in the castle.

For her entire life, Briony has been the less important princess. Briony is always only an accessory to Rosalin’s story, or only an annoyance. Everyone pays more attention to Rosalin. Even so, Briony really likes her sister, and Rosalin likes her back, though as an older sibling, she is often dismissive of her.

On her sixteenth birthday, Rosalin pricks her finger on the spinning wheel. And she falls asleep, along with everyone else in the castle.

Marshmallow is reading Thornwood by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow is reading Thornwood by Leah Cypess.

Years later, Briony wakes up and goes to Rosalin’s room. On the way there, she discovers that there are thorn branches that move which have grown around the castle. Briony comes to Rosalin’s room in time to see the prince wake her up. Rosalin is happy to see the prince, but when she sees Briony, she seems terrified for a moment and she quickly returns to a normal expression.

When Briony meets the prince, Prince Varian, she is suspicious of him because his story is a little fishy. He says that he cut through the thorn branches with a magical sword. He claims that he no longer has the sword because the thorn branches wrested it from him. He claims to have fought through the remaining thorns with his hands. Briony finds it suspicious that he has scratches on his hands but none on his face. And it turns out that Varian is not who he says he is, and it remains to be seen whether he can get them out of the Thornwood, or whether they will be stuck there forever. 

Marshmallow’s Review: The plot of Thornwood is well thought out, well-written, and full of twists and turns. I was very surprised by one of the big reveals.

I really like how the story is based off of a fairy tale that many people know, but the plot sort of changes from the original tale. It also introduces Briony, the sister whom we do not know about from the usual telling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, and things get a lot more complicated than expected.

I think that the characters are realistic. They have realistic and relatable personalities, and they all have their habits and their flaws. 

This is the first book of a new series Sisters Ever After, where the author Leah Cypess reimagines several different fairy tales. Thornwood is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty. I am curious about the next book, which is apparently about Cinderella. If I do end up reading it, I will definitely write about it.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Thornwood by Leah Cypess 95%.
Marshmallow rates Thornwood by Leah Cypess 95%.