Shard of Glass

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Shard of Glass: A Cinderella Retelling by Emily Deady (Fairy Tale Royal book 1)

With the family savings depleted and her stepmother crippled by grief, Ashlin selflessly takes a job at the royal palace. She forms an unlikely friendship with the prince. Meanwhile, wielders of a powerful magic threaten their small coastal kingdom, and Prince Onric doesn’t believe their defenses will hold.
As Ashlin navigates growing feelings for the charming prince, she realizes that her unique skills could help save the kingdom.

“He may be a prince, but he held her in higher esteem than he would hold a queen.”

I absolutely adored this Cinderella retelling. Too often, I find it hard to relate to Cinderella characters because they’re too nice. but Ashlin was different. I felt her heartache, her need to cling to the only family she had left.

And Onric. Struggling to find his place in the shadow of his older brother, the crown prince.

The relationship between these two was so sweet to watch. They definitely had their ups and downs, but through it all, their love shone.

This story has skillful handling of gaslighting and emotional abuse. At first, I wanted to shake Ashlin, to make her wake up and stand up for herself just once. But as the story progressed, I understood why she didn’t.

And the twist that took the villain from misunderstood to full evil was perfect.

The above quote is a perfect summary of the relationship between these two adorable characters. I also appreciate the story didn’t end in immediate marriage.

Five roses – adored. Want more.
Zero swears – a couple made up words that weren’t offensive.
One fox – a couple chaste kisses.
One sword – no blood and no real fight scenes.