Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella

MORRISON, Megan. 416p. (Tyme: Bk. 2). /Arthur A. Levine Bks. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545642712; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545642736.
Gr 4–6—Morrison returns to the land of Tyme (Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel) and continues the story with a few of the first novel's characters. Prince Dash Charming, no longer frozen in stone and free from his family's perennial curse of unhappiness in love, is now safely back home in Quintessential, the capital city of Blue Kingdom. But the return is far from joyful. His mother, Queen Maud, has disappeared; his father, the king, struggles to maintain his rule under pressure from prosperous citizens who want to topple the monarchy; and Prince Dash is forced to return to his elite school, where all the students eagerly anticipate his reentry. All except Elegant Coach (Ella), a smart, gifted seamstress from a poor, hardworking family who, for years, toiled in one of the kingdom's factories. Ella is at the school only because her widowed father married a wealthy businesswoman. She finds life unbearable there with classmates who consider her beneath them. When Prince Dash and Ella become partners on a business project, romance blossoms along with plenty of trials for both of them. Morrison has created another fast-moving and vibrant story filled with colorful descriptions of a magical place. Readers who enjoyed the first installment will relish the chance to learn more about Serge, the Blue Fairy, Prince Dash, and other characters from Tyme. New readers who like a fresh approach to traditional fairy tales will appreciate how the author blends themes of magic and modern-day economic justice.
VERDICT A fine addition to most middle grade collections and a must-have for fans of the first in the series.

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