25 May 2012, Bloomsbury USA
This is the sequel to Princess of the Midnight Ball (2009). Poppy and her sisters were all cursed by the King Under Stone to dance every night, and the princes who attempted to thwart the king died in tragic ways, so once she is truly free of the king, she is not wild to dance... ever again. This is difficult when she is visiting the land of Breton as a royal ambassador, and is invited to many parties. She gives in, a bit, mainly because she finds visiting Prince Christian attractive, but her past experiences make her wary. When wealthy heiress turned serving girl Eleanora insists on going to a ball with the other young ladies, Poppy starts to suspect more evil magic in the works. In fact, Eleanora has made a pact with a witch named The Corley, and is soon enticing all the young men. Poppy uses her knowledge to try to overcome Eleanora's charms and keep everyone safe.
Strengths: I'm impressed. I really didn't want to read another book with a girl in a ball gown on the cover, but didn't have anything else, AND I soon felt that this was a sequel to which I hadn't read the first. Nonetheless, Poppy intrigued me, Eleanora made me want to slap her a tiny bit, but I always felt there was something going on under the surface, and I also wanted to find out the Corley's motivation. I'm going to have to get the first book out now! Diane Zahler's retellings of fairy tales have been popular, so I think I will buy this set.
Weaknesses: Well, girl in ball gown on cover. Title similar to the not nearly as good Throne of Glass. This read a little like Alcott when the girls were preparing for the various balls, and while this was good for me, it might not be as appealing to my readers.