My Rating: 3 stars
Many thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC. This book was released on April 5 2022 and is now available for purchase.
Glass Slippers follows Tirza, Cinderella’s third stepsister who was only five-years-old when the events of the fairy tale happened. With her mother dead and her sisters in exile, Tirza grows up in the palace, generally left to her own devices and mistrusted by the majority of the court. When Queen Ella’s famous glass slippers go missing just days before the annual ball, Tirza is immediately blamed even though she’s innocent. Cypess crafts an interesting take on the classic fairy tale. Since Tirza was so young at the time, her memories of past events are fairly vague and broken. She can remember snippets but isn’t even sure what’s real or what’s imagined. It adds to the mystery of who is the hero and who is the villain, and it just makes for a great character overall.
Cypess uses both the more well-known Perrault version of the story and the infamously gruesome Grimm one. We have stepsisters cutting off parts of their feet here! I really appreciated that she didn’t shy away from these darker aspects despite writing for children. It upped the stakes and tension and made for some excellent scenes. The glass slippers were probably my favorite part of the book. Cypess does a fantastic job with them and describing the allure they hold for Tirza.
I did find myself wanting a little more from the book, particularly when it came to character motivations. We never receive an explanation for why Ella acts in certain ways toward Tirza nor do we understand why Tirza’s family mistreated Ella in the first place. The main villain’s plan was never entirely clear to me, though I won’t say more to avoid spoilers. I also wasn’t enamored with the writing, but that probably has more to do with me not being the target audience.
Overall, Glass Slippers is a fun and unique take on what happens after Cinderella’s happily ever after that fairy tale-loving kids (and adults!) are sure to enjoy.