Review of CINDERELLIS AND THE GLASS HILL by GAIL CARSON LEVINE
(fourth in THE PRINCESS TALES series)
Most people recognize this as a twist on “Cinderella,” but it’s also a twist on “The Princess on the Glass Hill.” (They’re both right there in the title, but “Cinderella” is a more well-known fairy tale than “The Princess on the Glass Hill.” I think Disney gets credit there.)
In Levine’s version, though, our lead is a boy nicknamed Cinderellis by his annoying brothers. His brothers aren’t cruel, though, merely daft and unappreciative. Cinderellis has a knack for magic and he’s always creating magical inventions to make simple tasks around the farm that much easier and more successful. His brothers, sadly, refuse to ever acknowledge his inventions, always crediting some other force or factor, much to Cinderellis’s disappointment.
Then there’s Princess Marigold, our soon to be princess on a glass hill. Her father has an obsession with quests, always searching for the unlikely or, better yet, impossible. When he finds himself between quests, and bored, he decides it’s time to look for a husband for his daughter, and what better way for weeding out potential suitors than a seemingly impossible task - such as scaling a glass hill to reach her.
I love that Princess Marigold isn’t a helpless victim in this arrangement. She sneaks water and oil onto the top of the hill with her so she can pour down something slippery and sabotage anyone she doesn’t like. She also has a cat named Apricot, who - like a lot of cats in my opinion - is somewhat boring except that Marigold projects a personality onto him.
Another sweet, slim novel with endearing characters and an entertaining wit.