Princess Ashleigh Charmaine is known as the Glass Princess, fragile enough to shatter with a whisper of wind. Born with a weak heart, she dreams of being treated like anyone else. Unlike her headstrong sisters, she received no magical ability at birth and lives every day expecting to die. Until an oracle announces that Ashleigh is fated to play the part of Cinderella, wed a handsome royal and save the Kingdom of Sevon from the evil king and queen who once ruled the land.
As war rages, Ashleigh begins to doubt her role in the fairy-tale prophecy. Animals despise her, she can’t carry a merry tune and she has zero social graces. Worse, the king she’s supposed to enchant is the newly crowned sovereign of the winged warriors known as the Avian…and he despises her, too.
When Ashleigh develops a terrifying magical ability to commune with dragons and create fire from air—a power she cannot control—she must work with King Saxon to save their kingdoms and their lives. By the stroke of midnight, she must warm his icy heart…or forever break her own. Will Ashleigh ever become the queen she’s prophesied to be…or will she lose everything she’s come to love?
The time has come, folks – my first YA review on the blog! And of course, the author of said YA book is one of Romance’s most famous authors! Surprisingly though, The Evil Queen and The Glass Queen are my first Gena Showalter books, but they most certainly won’t be the last. I can’t wait to read more of her YA books, and I also can’t wait to try out her Romance books too!
First things first – before you jump into The Glass Queen, you have to read The Evil Queen first. While this story focuses on Ashleigh and Saxon, the main characters from the first book are also integral parts of the plot. The Glass Queen opens with the readers meeting frail Ashleigh, our heroine, receiving a message from her father commanding that she come home. She is currently exiled as a punishment for attacking Saxon, our hero, a few years ago. Upon arriving home and learning that there will be a Hunger Games-esque competition to wed one of her stepsisters, Ashleigh is told that she is to assist Saxon, who will be joining the competition, in any way she can. Easier said than done though, because Saxon hates Ashleigh, and he plans to make her miserable… before killing her.
Dun dun dun. A lot to take in, huh?
Speaking of the plot, prophecies play a big role in this series, and I enjoyed Showalter’s take on them. For us readers, these prophecies are the fairy tales we grew up with, but for the people of Enchantia, these prophecies are the difference between life and death, good and evil, and peace and war. Also, while the main players of each prophecy know that they’ll be part of said prophecy, they don’t know which character they’ll play. So for example, even though Ashleigh is called the Glass Queen, she won’t necessarily be Cinderella in the prophecy. Cool, right?
Now, let’s talk about Ashleigh. I cannot even begin to explain how rough Asheigh has it – her father hates her, she has no friends, and she has a weak heart (literally). Despite all of these, she remains so hopeful, always willing to take on what comes her way, and I just want what’s best for her! Also, I’m not going to lie – I hated Saxon for the first few chapters. We do learn early on why he hates Ashleigh so much, but I can’t help but be frustrated because he was so unreasonable! I hate, hate how terribly he treated Ashleigh. Instead of seeing what’s right in front of him, he was content to blame everything on her. For a second there, I wasn’t sure how I could root for him to be Ashleigh’s happily-ever-after, but don’t worry, he does redeem himself fully. In the end, Saxon proves that he is the hero, and the prince charming of this fairy tale.
All in all, I recommend The Glass Queen. The characters are fully-developed, and the story has so many twists and turns – there’s no way you’ll get bored! I’m also a fan of the lyrical writing because, lest we forget, this is a fairy tale after all. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book!