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Cinders Like Glass

"The late earl believed that beauty came from discomfort, the sand became a pearl, the cinder flakes of charcoal became drawings, and orphans became daughters."

Warning: This is the second novel in Clarissa Kae's Victorian Retellings series. This review may contain spoiler information for the first novel's plotline.


The Duke of Girard is tasked with protecting Queen and country. Society has dubbed him the Dark Duke and he often finds himself the focus of the Thames Tales gossip sketches. His current assignment, to find the French spy le Tailleur, has led him Lord Nikolas Rochelle. After watching Lord Rochelle for nearly a year the Dark Duke is no closer to solving the mystery. One day, he discovers Lord Rochelle has a step-sister, Lady Ada, and is determined that she holds the key to finding le Tailleur. As the Dark Duke interrogates Lady Ada he finds himself feeling alive for the first time in years.

thoughts & feelings

I love when the books in a series connect together well, even when there is a gap in time. At the end of A Dark Beauty we are left with little knowledge of the devious plot surrounding Queen Victoria. Cinders Like Glass takes us through the ongoing investigation led by the Dark Duke. I loved seeing the inner workings of the investigation and receiving all of the clues through that channel. At this point I honestly have no guesses on who le Tailleur is but am still dying to know! I am also really curious about a few of the other members of the ton who are introduced.

Cinders Like Glass is a Victoria Era retelling of Cinderella. The fairy tale connection was a little difficult to make. Since there is no magic a lot of the key elements, that we associate with the story of Cinderella, are missing. Don't worry the ball scene is featured and is honestly one of my favorite meet cutes. The Duke of Girard is entranced with the goddess in the golden dress and cannot resist asking her for a dance, which is completely out of character for him.

One of my favorite parts of this retelling is the glimpses we get into the thoughts of our "Prince Charming" and "Cinderella" characters. I love that she makes the "prince" feel more alive. He smiles and laughs more freely in her company and his burden of work and worry seems to lessen. In return "Cinderella" feels safe and comfortable when the "prince" is near. She can breathe easier and the fear of her step brother seems to vanish. The balance between our main man and leading lady are perfection. Don't you just love when characters balance and strengthen one another?

The third novel in this series, A Stolen Heart, is a retelling of Robin Hood and will be available on January 29, 2022. I am dying to see what happens next and may give in to purchasing the Kindle version, if a physical copy is not available on release day.

book tags

Steam Level: clean, kissing

Language: mild, three "farmer swears" throughout

Trigger Warnings: depression, death of a parent

book information

Title: Cinders like Glass

Series: Victorian Retellings, #2

Author: Clarissa Kae

Rating: 5/5


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