"She’ll keep you up long past your bedtime." #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King
"The prolific Lackey (the Valdemar series) draws on the darker, Brothers Grimm side of fairy lore for her enchanting tale…" —Publisher’s Weekly
In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can't carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale.…
Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella—until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with "The Tradition" was no easy matter—until she got a little help from her own fairy godmother. Who promptly offered Elena a most unexpected job.…
Now, instead of sleeping in the chimney, she has to deal with arrogant, stuffedshirt princes who keep trying to rise above their place in the tale. And there's one in particular who needs to be dealt with….
Sometimes a fairy godmother's work is never done….
Book 1 of Five Hundred Kingdoms.
The prolific Lackey (the Valdemar series) draws on the darker, Brothers Grimm side of fairy lore for her enchanting tale, the first title under a new Harlequin imprint to spotlight romantic fantasy. In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, the Tradition, that ineffable magic, holds the promise of happily-ever-after for all deserving young maidens and courteous princes charming. But the Tradition also leads some in its thrall to pain, suffering and gruesome death. Feisty 19-year-old Elena Klovis seems destined to be an Ella of the Cinders (Cinderella), at the mercy of her wicked stepmother and greedy stepsisters. To escape their clutches, Elena tries to get work as a maidservant, but her fairy godmother, Madame Bella, has other plans for her. Elena becomes Madame Bella's apprentice, doing her best, among other challenges, to ensure that evil does not subvert Tradition. The only problem is that fairy godmothers are not themselves allowed to fall in love. It's up to Elena, who has vowed to reform a wayward prince, to tease out the threads of a new Tradition. Lackey has created an intelligent, self-possessed heroine with whom many readers will identify.