Yuck. Hines is still a master with setting, but the characters have become sort of cookie cutter - one is responsible, one's flirty, one's angry. It's getting old. Prince Armand, who we meet here for the first time, is a pompous jerk. I have no idea what Cinderella sees in him. More irritating still is Danielle's (aka Cinderella's) ability to communicate with animals - sea birds, sharks, crabs, kelpies - and in the process these creatures, who do her bidding, are routinely slaughtered in warfare and she thinks nothing of it. Who treats their friends like that? It's unsettling and inconsistent with who the character is supposed to be based on her other qualities - ability to listen, her thanking the birds for their help, her concern for one of her human friends. Again, I will reiterate that Hines is excellent with setting, from the sea to the castles; his ability to create names that seem fitting for, say, a race of mermaids is outstanding. But the only reason I did not throw this book into a recycling bin is because I appreciate the lesbian storyline woven in - though I still have some issues with the stereotyping involved there.