Gail Carson Levine is the author for you. She is witty, and pokes fun at fairy-tales all the while making you love the story even more. When he was six years old, Ellis invented flying powder. He sprinkled the powder on his tin cup, and the cup began to rise up the chimney. He stuck his head into the fireplace to see how far up it would go. The fire was out, of course.

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Perhaps I was in a combative state of mind, or it was just a one-off. Ellis and his two brothers are farmers. His older brothers Ralph and Burt are best friends, hardcore farmers, and probably the least imaginative people in the kingdom of Biddle.

Ellis is a scientist--he invents all sorts of powders to solve problems. For example, he creates a flying powder, but things kept going all helter-skelter, so he added a ruler to the mix to help them fly straight! One night, Ellis feels the earth tremble and rock, and the next morning, all of the hay in the kingdom is gone! Burt and Ralph take turns trying to catch the goblins they are convinced are stealing the hay. He crafts special horse treats and manages to catch three magical horses: one copper, one silver, and one gold.

He wants the very best for her, so he devises a test: anyone who can walk his horse up the top of a glass pyramid and receive three golden apples from Marigold, who would be sitting at the top, can marry her. Being an animal lover, she knows that most knights would be cruel and force their horses to do something dangerous. When the glass pyramid is unveiled, Marigold disguises herself as a Royal Dairymaid to sneak around the festivities.

All of their lives, both of them have desperately needed friends. Cinderellis never had anyone willing to listen, and Marigold always wanted to know the "why" of things. Cinderellis uses his scientific learning to explain things, and Marigold can ask him "why" as much as she wants to! As you might have guessed, they fall in love. In the end, Cinderellis attempts the challenge, not knowing that Marigold is actually the princess.

Unfortunately, he has to wear old, rusty armor that makes it difficult to see or speak. When Marigold speaks to him, the echoing inside the helmet transforms his voice into a booming, yet unintelligible gibberish.

Therefore, she devises a Last Resort to stop the monster from achieving the goal of going to the top of the pyramid. Of course, everything is straightened out in the end.

This is a hilarious romp through fairy land and mythology alike. I loved trying to spot all of the literary references! Obviously, this is a take on Cinderella, but there are a lot of other stories that make guest appearances.

The concept of the impossible task is a motif that appears in many, many stories, from The Twelve Labors of Herakles to Psyche and Eros to Rumpelstiltskin. I knew that the concept of the three horses who can only be freed by human touch must reference something too, and I found a really interesting Russian folktale called The Enchanted Peafowl. Highly recommended! Now, if only I could get my hands on some of that flying powder


Cinderellis and the Glass Hill

Bralrajas And, as always, the princess has the final word. Jun 24, Lisa Brown rated it liked it Shelves: Cinderellis and the Glass Hill is fairly unique in offering a male protagonist. I glads enjoy Levine, and this book does not disappoint. She is also the author of the nonfiction book Writing Magic: It was a cute re telling of the Cinderella story told from a male perspective. I loved trying to spot all of the literary references! Oct 23, Rosie Adams rated it really liked it.



Shelves: fantasy , middle-grade , retelling The stories in this collection rated lower as I read forwards. I had high hopes for The Princess Tales Vol. It was mainly the last one that got to me, to be honest. I would still recommend for the first two, or pick them up separately, which can be done.

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