Synopsis: Scratching out a living in a land recovering from war and a hostile takeover, Cinderella—an orphaned, destitute duchess—is desperate to save her lands and servants in spite of the terrible taxes placed upon her by the Erlauf queen, even if it means she must don servants’ clothes and work like a commoner.
Her sacrifices aren’t enough, and when a mountain of debt is levied against her, she is given one season to produce the funds. Cinderella realizes it is only a matter of time before she loses everything she has struggled to protect, and it seems that all is lost until she is befriended by the debonair Colonel Friedrich—a member of the Erlauf military and a citizen of the oppressing country that rules her homeland.
From helping her break into the royal library to saving her from a rogue mage, Friedrich draws her closer and challenges her mindset of the queen and the war.
Cinderella knows Friedrich is not all he appears to be, but can she trust him with her country and her heart?
Before the actual story begins, Cinderella’s country was invaded by Erlauf- mentions of the nobles who were slaughtered or banished, and the soldiers lost. Cinderella and Friedrich evade an assassination attempt, torture is mentioned. Mentions of killing ogres, battling wraiths and other magical beings. Cinderella is attacked by a mage- a woman is burned, and the mage is impaled by a pitchfork.
Friedrich takes interest in Cinderella from the beginning, flirting with her and teasing her. At first, many assume the worst and fear she may be ‘ruined’. Cinderella values her body and will save kissing for her husband, or fiancee. Speculation is made on who she’ll marry. They kiss.
Friedrich drinks a pint, or from a tankard. Brandy is offered at the ball, and mead and beer is drunk.
Cinderella breaks into the library to read books but never steals. As she said, “What sort of lowlife steals from a library?”
There’s unrest in the country of Trieux, since Erlauf invaded and took over. Prejudice runs deep, and the taxes and law may seem harsh. Cinderella and Friedrich want to change that, to show what love and forgiveness can do.
n/a. (Darn, rats and harpy… )
Overall feel: It’s a fun retelling, with a spunky, sarcastic heroine, who has a big heart and shows selflessness in everything she does. She learns the value of love and forgiveness, instead of bitterness and prejudice- “After all, nobody wins in war, but everyone triumphs in the face of love and forgiveness.”