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.
Personally, I usually find either the story or the characters mainly stand out to me. Even when they both work together, I can say that I enjoyed one a little more than the other. With this book, I don't know if I could decide whether the story or the characters were better for me. Each character was perfect for this story. I loved Helena so much. There were some instances where it should have seemed hard for me to relate to her but I felt so attached to her. Especially when certain events happened to hear, I was crushed! Dell's character was great as well. It honestly was perfect the way she swapped the characters from the traditional setting. There was so much I really enjoyed about his character. The dual point of view was a fantastic way to write this book to get as much as possible from both characters.
Overall, Glass Kingdom by M. Lynn was absolutely fantastic. With a very unique gender swapping retelling of Cinderella there were so many aspects that just worked. I loved the story and all of the twists that were introduced. It was great to see cameos from the Rapunzel's story and I'm excited to see how the next book will continue. Helena and Dell were the perfect characters for this story and I love them both. This is a book I highly recommend for anyone, especially if you are a fan of retellings and fantasy.
**NOTE: You do not need to read the first three books in the series to read this one but it is something I highly encourage to get the best experience**
Glass Kingdom takes place in the same world as the Golden Curse books, and it's a few years after those events. There is some crossover, especially of characters, but the Cinderella books can technically be read on their own.
This is the famous tale we all know and love but told in a completely new way. First, it's a gender-bent version, meaning the "Cinderella" character is a man. Dell first meets the princess, Helena, while she's in a disguise in the city. The tradition in the kingdom is for princesses to wear a mask around everyone but family until their eighteenth birthday. So she's lived her entire life hidden until she sneaks out in her brother's clothes. When their paths cross, Dell tells her it's a horrible disguise but doesn't know she's the princess. She tells him her name is Len, and they quickly become friends as they keep meeting.
Dell and Edmund get caught up in the mess of rebels trying to tear the kingdom apart, and to protect the girl he thinks is a mistress of the prince, Dell attends the ball. Of course, there, he figures out she is Helena, the princess. But they're separated as the royal family is betrayed. With Helena fighting to get out of the castle with her brothers, they're faced with impossible decisions and heartbreaking truths.
This book is so, so good. I always struggle jumping into a new series after finishing one, but it was very easy to dive in with Glass Kingdom. From the beginning, I was interested in Helena and Dell's story. Plus, Edmund is in these books too, and he was my favorite in the Rapunzel series, so I was excited. I love him even more now, if that's possible.
Helena and Dell are such strong characters. Normally, it takes a bit for me to warm up to new characters, but not these two. I loved them both from the start, but they developed very well too. By the end, they're both fierce in their loyalties--Helena to her brothers and Edmund; Dell to Helena. The friendships in this story are beautiful, and I think that's why I enjoyed Helena and Dell so much right away.
The world building in this series continues to amaze me. We're introduced to the kingdom of Madra in this story, and it's evident Michelle worked hard to create these unique societies in the same world. She painted a vivid picture of how it looked and functioned.
As always, it was well written. The dialogue flows naturally. The descriptions are there but don't bog down the story. I really enjoy her writing style; it's easy to read and quick to pull me into the story. I highly recommend this book!
- Beautiful friendships
- Strong family relationships
- Wonderful world building