Four years have passed since Eleanor Brice Desmarais's darkest secret came to heartbreaking, perilous light. The princess with the cracked glass slipper still mourns unimaginable losses, including the deaths of her son and her best friend. Her lover, Dorian Finley, is in exile in a far northern kingdom. Eleanor and her husband, Crown Prince Gregory of Cartheigh, barely tolerate one another. Her two daughters are the bright stars in what feels like an existence of endless night.
Husband and wife travel north on an unexpected diplomatic mission, and Eleanor, Dorian, and Gregory resume their dangerous love triangle, with continued interference from Eleanor's wily stepsister. Eleanor's old nemesis, Ezra Oliver, forms a mysterious alliance with an army of vicious, bloodthirsty ogres, pushing Cartheigh to the brink of war. His magical finagling exposes strange connections between Eleanor's world and our own, and places her precocious, enigmatic daughter, Natalie, in terrible danger. When Gregory suddenly finds himself king, he leans on Dorian and Eleanor's counsel. With a fledgling monarch on the throne and the enemy amassing in the north, the unlikely triad must unite for the good of the kingdom. Their shared purpose forces Eleanor to rethink years of grudges, resentment, and animosity. As she truly embraces her own power, she finds herself learning to forgive, and asking for forgiveness.
The long-awaited conclusion to Stephanie Alexander's Cracked Slipper Series brings a satisfying resolution to a beloved fairytale. Eleanor's surprisingly relatable enchanted life is a testament to the power of personal evolution, and a reminder that there are no simple happy endings.