Charm, A wicked Cinderella Tale by Sarah Pinborough is the sequel to Poison that also includes Beauty in the Fairy Tale Trilogy. Cinderella is the cantankerous stepsister to the sweeter Rose and Ivy. Ivy has married a Viscount and Rose is vying for the Prince’s love. He has announced two balls that will help him decide on a wife. Cinderella of course dreams of getting out of this hovel via marriage to the prince. Her mother died she thought, but she didn’t die she ran off with another man. Her father, a newspaperman and writer stole his wife from an earl. His new wife is sad to be away from court and becomes shrewish and demands her daughters get her back to court. The huntsman turned mouse is back. He is a mouse during the day and the huntsman during the night. Children are disappearing in the forest never to return.
Once the prince discovers Cinderella is the owner of the glass slipper and the family is moved to the court, all is not as it should be. The kindly fairy godmother that grants Cinderella the magic to go to the balls has some demands of her own. The King is not happy with the prince’s choice, Cinderella is not happy, Rose is not happy, but Father and Mother are as he gets the paper back and the two love each other. Eventually the right lovers get together, much as they did in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. I love the furiously frantic chaotic denouement.