Cinder & Glass

Listening Library. Mar. 2022. 932p. $63. ISBN 9780593502556.
Gr 7 Up–Bestselling author 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.

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