We return again to the world of FTRS with Gillian Cobbler, Prince Jaxon, Maxine, Ollie, Kayla, and the whole crew. Headmistress Flora has stepped down and Rump, er... that is, Mr. Stiltskin has taken charge as the head honcho. He has made many adjustments to the way things are run at the school, and those are not the only changes. Gilly's father has more business than he can handle in his shoe shop now that he has the concession for glass slippers (there's a two-month waiting period to get a pair). Gilly's younger sister, Anna, has fallen in with those thugs Hansel and Gretel. Gilly is bored with normal life and misses all her friends from FTRS, but it's not like she wishes for a crisis or anything. Right? Then again, just because you aren't looking for trouble doesn't mean that it won't find you.
With the trickster, I mean, Mr. Stiltskin cutting off Pegasus Post messages, Visitation Days, and changing the rules so that more youngsters are being sent to FTRS than ever before - something certainly seems to be brewing. Can Gilly and her friends find out what it is before the kingdom of Enchantasia is in deadly peril?
Fans of the series will be delighted to see Gilly, Jax, and their friends ride into danger again. There are plenty of storylines still unresolved from the previous books - Kayla's family had been turned into trees by Rump, you-know-who, before she came to FTRS. Now that he is at the school, can she talk him into transforming them back? Why did Headmistress Flora step down and take the role of simply being a professor at the school? Will the reformed students be able to stay on the straight and narrow?
One of the things I like about this series is the theme that you can't let others tell you what to do or who you are. You have to decide on your destiny for yourself. The character of Red Riding Hood makes a very wise statement, "...this is your quest. You have to make the hard choices." That's also true of life. And perhaps the students can learn to believe "I can be whatever I want to be - even if I don't know what that is yet." Many of the middle grade readers of this story/series can take that to heart.
Author Jen Calonita has once again created a fast-paced tale with plenty of action, humor and gentle truths about friends, families, and growing up. Highly recommended for middle grades and up. Visit the Enchantasia website to find out more about the world of Gilly and her friends.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.