Ashes of Glass
This is an awesome book! I don’t like to start off my reviews with such a blunt statement but that is the very first thing that comes to mind when I think of this story. It was introduced to me as a Christian romance and I have to say, it most definitely is! BUT not in the way that you would think. This isn’t about two shy Christians trying to wait until marriage before they can truly express their love. Its not about a sweet, innocent ‘good girl’ charming the rebellious man of her dreams into a stable, God-fearing church lifestyle. Ashes of Glass is a very well and very loveable retelling of the story of Cinderella.
Arella, or ‘Ella’, is the daughter of a wealthy merchant who soon finds herself in a very unfortunate situation. Through unforeseen mishaps she ends up being overworked and abused as she grinds out backbreaking chores everyday for her stepmother. Somehow, in this dark moment of her life, Arella finds a light in a young man she declares as her very own ‘Prince Charming’. His name is Freddie, and for Arella he’s just a handsome distraction but she later finds out that he is indeed a Prince. And because he happens to be a Prince, their romance is doomed due to the strict social norms of the Kingdom of Ormandy. Desperately in love, Prince Friederic and Arella decide they are going to fight for their relationship—determined to follow the plan they believe God has laid out for them.
What I loved most about this story was the writing itself. It was very detailed without getting nitpicky or boring—I don’t need ten pages of endless droning just to tell me Ella is blonde and beautiful. I also really liked the characterization, especially on Ella’s behalf. One thing I greatly dislike about romance is the classic ‘damsel in distress’ attitude but Arella is not like that at all. Hill built a very lovable protagonist with an understanding and intelligent personality. Arella is not a victim, she’s a strong woman in an unfortunate situation and Hill made sure this was clear to audiences.
I think I should also point out that the cover of this book is very appealing, and it fits the story so well! I was pulled in before I ever read a page. I highly recommend it to any fans of romance, YA readers, those who enjoy Christian fiction, and anyone looking for a great fairytale novel.