My rating: 4 of 5 stars What a fun, quick read. While not explicitly based on any fairy tale, it has that feel, and I would recommend it to fans of Ella Enchanted and Shannon Hale. Although the heroine is fifteen, the story is fairly simple and sweet in a way that makes it appropriate for younger readers, but would also give it appeal to teen girls looking for a fun rags-to-riches fantasy. I had wondered, ordering it, if it would be age appropriate for my 4th-8th grade collection, and it seems like a perfect fit. I have a few minor quibbles – a too-perfect prince, for example, while the thief boy was delightfully flawed. It also didn’t have quite as much emotional depth as something like Beauty A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast, but it’s one of those books where you don’t quite notice that until you’ve gulped it down. I’m just waiting for a young patron to ask for fairy tale retellings so I can point her to this one. View all my reviews >>
Also – I noticed a few reviews on Goodreads that gushed over the cover, but I think it’s hideous. Okay, not hideous – just dull. It doesn’t tell you anything about the story that the title doesn’t already cover – magic and amaranth flowers. The cover model looks slightly bored. Or maybe I just dislike photographs on the covers of fantasy novels? I think photos are better suited to comtemporary fiction. I’d much rather see an illustration of Lucinda. And behind her – is that supposed to be a forest? The whole story is set in a city, for crying out loud.