After having read and loved the author's Royals of Monterra series, I went into this with very high hopes that got dashed within the first 5 chapters.
I really hated Maddie as a character. She wasn't the Ugly Stepsister at all, she was the Lazy one! She didn't want to rock the boat, yet she didn't stand up for herself or talk about how she was feeling to others. And she's supposed to be nearly an adult?! She came off as much younger than 17/18! Most of her actions or inactions led to unnecessary drama, and the sheer abundance of it made the book drag!
Looking at it through the glasses of the target audience, I doubt I could recommend it. I'm not seeing a lot of things to recommend it to the Young Adult crowd. The lessons that could have been touched on got lost in the drama, and wound up being summarized at the end of the book. With the short attention spans going on today, I doubt many teenagers would stick with this to make it to the end of the book! I think I'll stick with the more contemporary works of the author from now on.