Third review, here you go. Last review for today will be for the same series.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Glass Kingdom by M. Lynn
Synopsis From The Book
A hidden princess is an obedient princess.
On the shores of Madra, tradition is law.
For Princess Helena Rhodipus, this means wearing masks to hide from common eyes.
For the people, it means bowing down to a king who cares little for them.
Wanting to rid herself of the rules holding her back, Helena escapes into the city, unrecognizable without her mask.
She only wants a taste of life outside her walls before returning to the only place she’s known, but she hadn’t counted on him.The boy who makes her forget about her brothers’ worries or her father’s wrath.
What if Dell is the freedom she’s been searching for her entire life?
As she begins to believe it’s possible to be both princess and normal girl, the kingdom she loves is thrown into chaos, and her once-solid family shatters, proving they’d been made of glass all along.
Dell Tenyson has nothing.
The unclaimed son of a dead merchant, he sleeps in the barn behind his step-mother’s grand house.
The life suits him. He only wants to get through each day and make it to the next.
Injured in a street fight, Dell wakes to find himself embroiled in a world of spies and plotting with an unknown girl right in the center of it.
He doesn’t know who she is or where she’s come from, but Dell vows to do whatever is necessary to protect her. Even if that means fighting in the halls of the palace or blowing apart the castle walls. Saving princes or battling raging fires.
A coup is coming to Madra, a battle for the kingdom’s very soul.
Maybe winning doesn’t mean saving the crown, but only surviving its fall.
Inspired by the Cinderella story, this is the fairytale as you’ve never seen it before.
Glass Kingdom is book one in a duology that is part of the Fantasy and Fairytales series.
Fantasy – Retelling | YA – PW|Death, Parental Abuse, Betrayal | Coming of Age, Love, Masks
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
HERE WE GO! Alright so I thought I owned a majority of the M.Lynn books. Turns out I was wrong. New Beginnings series? The Invincible Series? Dawn of the Rebellion Trilogy? I am missing out! I met M. Lynn (and was introduced to her books) at Penned Con 2018. I honestly can’t believe its been three years! I got many of her books then, and now I am catching up on the Fantasy and Fairytales.
These are some of my favorite retellings, tbh, and she’s one of my favorite self published authors. If you are on the look out for some fun retellings of fairytales, check these books out! NOW
This is the first book in a duology. It is a retelling of Cinderella. I’m excited to see where it goes and how. I’m expecting magic and mayhem, and politics~ Also these books are quick and light reads. I’m expecting them to be fast for me to get through just like the first six books I read of her’s. ANYWAY HYPE OVER. Let’s go!
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
We got a boy cinderella? Excellent. Perfect. I really do love the characters. It took me a moment to get into the old characters and remember who they were. This book had romance and a rebellion as well as horrible standards. I love it. Can’t wait to see how the crew saves the day and their country in the next book!
The novel opens with Dell fighting a man named Orlo. He is beaten ruthlessly and Helena, princess of Madra, tries to intervene. Edmund, ambassador of Gaule, stops her, and ends the fight himself. Helena is out in the public without a mask, which is forbidden for the princesses of Madra before their 18th birthday. (Something about how men who see her face will make it impure.) Edmund and Helena take Dell to two magic users who heal him. Edmund then takes Helena back to the castle, and she sees her brother, Stev, who knew she left and vows to keep her secret but makes her put back on her mask.
Dell wakes up and thanks the mages for their time, and stays with them for a few days. He’s close with all of them. Helena sees him a few days later when she is checking on him and her brother brings her home. She sits in on a war council and sees her brothers again as well as the heir to the Tenyson family. She finds out her brother’s bride from Gaule is coming to the country for her ball, and talks with her mother about sneaking out. Helena has been trained to fight by her mother who is secretly trained as a princess (as all the women in her tribe were), and goes to pick up Camille from the docks seeing Dell. Camille and Helena hit it off.
Meanwhile, Dell goes back home to the family that doesn’t want him. The Tenyson family is the top of the social hierarchy and they kicked him out when their father died. He has been living as a stable boy, deck hand, for years. The city raised him in a way, and the common people love him without knowing his true identity. Edmund asks Dell to be loyal to Edmund and reveals that the Tenyson family is planning a coup. Dell is unsure of who to help, not liking the crown or his family.
Camille and Helena talk about many things and one day are in the gardens and catch Edmund and Stev making out in the rose bushes. The girls chastise them and remind Stev of what the King would do if he found out. Edmund and Stev say they will end it. The day of the ball arrives and Helena is forced to be happy before the audience who is there for her birthday. Dell, meanwhile, sneaks in, and is pushed forward by his brothers for a boxing match as the Tenyson representative. This essentially forces him into their faction even when he did not want to be. The boxing fight he has is against Orlo. Helena goes to him, using her brother as an excuse. (Quinn. She has like four brothers, two tru born, two half brothers).
Helena motivates Dell to win when Ian (Dell’s sleazy brother) tries to flirt with her. Dell takes her away and they talk but then fight when he says she’s Stev’s mistress. She goes home but is kidnapped by the priest hood who lock her up. When she returns home the day of her ball, she is exhausted. Dell, meanwhile, decides that he wants to save the girl, learning that everyone associated with the king and Stev will die in his brother’s rebellion. The day of he tries to sneak into his house to get clothes, but is locked up in a cellar where he finds gun powder. He is found by the mages, who were sent by Edmund. They glamor him and he goes to the ball.
At the ball, Helena is forced to dance with suitors. Dell talks to Edmund and finds out his brother, Reed, slipped the information of his capture. Dells saves Helena from dancing with Ian, and the two go to the garden where he realizes that Helena is Len, the girl he likes (and thought was her brother’s mistress). She realizes he’s Dell after kissing him. He leaves, to go to the docks to leave the country but decides to stay and help Edmund. Helena returns to the ball and Edmund is arrested for treason. Almost immediately the rebellion begins. Helena is locked up with her mother not knowing where her father is. It is revealed, for certain, that Cole is the mastermind behind the coup.
Dell learns that Edmund has been captured, and tries to find the priest who is loyal to Edmund. He gets back to the palace and saves Kassander while trying to find Edmund. He then finds Stev. The three search for Edmund. Helena and her mother escape, but they witness Cole kill her father. Helena screamed and her mother whisked her away to another room and into the catacombs to hide. Helena makes her way to a room, searching for her brothers. She kills a guard, and then finds others protecting someone. A guard tells her that her brothers are dead and then she kills two soldiers and the third lets her in to see Edmund who is drugged. Ian arrives and orders to kill them. Dell and the others attack guards and meet up with loyalists. Stev asks Dell to save his sister.
He runs to get to her, but Helena is stabbed by a wayward blade. Stev makes a deal to get everyone (but himself and Camille) out, Cole takes it. Edmund is forced to separate from Stev, and Dell races Helena (who is dying) to Corban (a mage). He heals her. They sail to Bela, and meet the court, determined to get Madra back.
What I Liked:
Helena; My girl. I am so sorry you had to hide your face your whole life, as well as all the other nonsense you had to deal with. Take back your kingdom! You got this.
Dell; Wow, this boy. He was the typical Cinderella, character, but also strong willed. I did like him, and how much he fought. I cant wait to see how his and Helena’s relationship grows.
Estevan (stev); Oh Stev. Please be alive. This poor man, having to act one way his whole life, in fear of what his father would do to him. He is a good man, he can be a good king and he and Edmund deserve to be happy.
Kassander; What a sweet cinnamon roll. Must protect at all costs.
Mages: Mari and Corban. They were precious and amazing. I loved watching their powers at work in this novel.
Edmund; I loved seeing Edmund take a step up in this novel as an ambassador and using those skills of his to save a kingdom. He did everything he could to save the kingdom and still failed. Bless his poor heart.
Cole and Quinn; I don’t think I got enough of Quinn, and I need to know more. However GD Cole. Why? Why did you have to betray your family (save Helena, who he did love). Boy why? I hope Quinn can be trusted.
King and Queen Rhodipus; The queen was awesome, the king, screw him. You set this rebellion up yourself by acting the way you did.
Tenyson Family; Ian, Reed, and the mother. What a group of jerks. I want to know why Reed helped Edmund but really? Screw all of them.
Connection to Other Stories: WHA seeing the connection to Bela was great. Seeing how the next book will be set in Bela and Gaule for a bit, I’m excited.
Retelling; I really enjoyed this retelling of Cinderella. It used hidden identities for both of them and twisted it in a way similar to the Rapunzel one. I liked it, a lot.
World building; Learning about Madra was everything! They’re culture is different from Gaule. Seeing they have a priest hood, I would have liked to learn more about it, but it seems like they were a peace keeper that was really bad at its job. I really want to learn more in the next book.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
I really wish I reread my reviews real quick to remember some characters from the other series. I figured it out as the book progressed, but at first I was like “who is Edmund again?”
There was some corset slander, but not as much as I have seen, so I’ll forgive it. (It was an off handed “at least there is no corset comment rather than real slander anyway)