Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Midnight Curfews Release Party: 5 Reasons to Read Crown & Cinder

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the Midnight Curfews release party, where we're celebrating the release of THREE new Cinderella retellings! You can learn about all three at the release info page, but we'll be taking it one book at a time. The first of these? Kendra E. Ardnek's Crown & Cinder, the sequel to Rose Petals and Snowflakes. This take on Cinderella, blends it with Pride and Prejudice, and then derails both stories, to magnificent effect. This was the Austen Fairy Tale that I was most excited about and had the highest expectations for, and I very much enjoyed what I got. I'll tell you why in a minute . . . but first, a bit about the book and author.

About . . .

Crown & Cinder

The Austen Fairy Tale #2

It is a fact universally acknowledged that a girl, in possession of stepmother and stepsisters, must be in want of a fairy godmother to come whisk her away to some ball, where she might fall in love with a prince and live happily ever after...

Lizzy hated facts universally acknowledged.

Lizzy is a Cinder. However, conjuring fire at one’s fingertips isn’t considered appropriate in polite society, so she hides among her family's servants. Besides, her ruse also serves to protect her country from the Mistress's mad quest for power. No, it's much better all around if she lets her stepsister live her life.

But now the Gardener has taken the Mistress's throne, her motives unknown, and three royal balls have thrown Lizzy into the path of the most irritating king in the land. Meanwhile, can her beloved stepsister ever find a man willing to look past her farmer father? It's a complicated mess and Lizzy only wants out.

Too bad the Forest doesn't care what she wants.

Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads


Kendra E. Ardnek

Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she's frequently known to act before she thinks.

Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || TikTok || Amazon 

5 Reasons to Read Crown & Cinder

  1. Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice are a match worthy of Austen herself. I think it's fair to say that a lot of people's first instinct when combining Pride and Prejudice with a fairy tale would be to pair it with Beauty and the Beast. Which isn't unreasonable . . . but the dominant themes and concepts in Pride and Prejudice fit much better with those of Cinderella. Both are stories about, as Kendra put it, "class distinction, falling in love at balls, and dysfunctional families" — and, of course, a young woman escaping a disadvantaged situation through an unlikely romance.
  2. Look, when we said "derails," we meant derails. The tagline for this book is "When Pride and Prejudice derails Cinderella" — though I would argue that the derailment is pretty much mutual. This is not the kind of P&P retelling that's a scene-for-scene retelling of the original, just with a new setting and a little twist or two. Kendra hits all the important story beats, and she has some fabulous takes on the classic scene (Darcy/Darren's first proposal is particularly excellent), but this is still very much its own story.
  3. I really enjoy Kendra's versions of Lizzy and Darcy. And most of the characters, really, but particularly those two. This version of Lizzy is fiery in more than personality — she's a Cinder, which means she can produce flames from her fingertips and which also makes her of questionable status in her society. On top of that, her efforts to protect her home and family from the Forest's Mistress have made her a bit of a schemer, which is fun. On the other hand, Darren (this story's Darcy) is the king of a neighboring country, Ember, and while he doesn't have the initial bite of the original, he's pretty great. (We also get to see his interactions with his sister on screen, which is, y'know, lovely.)
  4. All your favorites from Rose Petals and Snowflakes are back. As is the fallout from that book! We see the effects of the change in management, as it were, of the Forest, as well as the results of some broken curses and how they affect other lands. And, delightfully, Elinrose and Earnest are both significant characters in Crown & Cinder. It was really fun to see them back.
  5. You don't have to read Rose Petals and Snowflakes to enjoy Crown & Cinder. You will get spoilers for RP&S . . . but anything that's important is explained in the book to the degree necessary to understand what's going on. Of course, once you read Crown & Cinder, you'll probably want to go back and find out what happened before . . . but the point is, you can read Crown & Cinder first if you want to.

Are you excited about Crown & Cinder? What's your favorite retelling of Pride and Prejudice? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


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