For this Cinderella, midnight is only the beginning...
Avani of Shroca has never danced at a ball. Her world is her bad-tempered cousins' kitchen, and her only pleasure her escapes to the nearby forest, though she must be back by midnight. One night near the beginning of autumn, she overstays her time, and her world changes.
Overnight, Vani is transformed from a cinderwench to a Duke's pampered daughter, courted by the King of Anosir himself. Her only worry now should be the far-off unrest of the kingdom's non-human races. But as she knows, what should be, is not always.
Though Vani makes friends among the young nobles, her truest help comes from her teachers in music and magic, a palace cook, and a storytelling woodcarver. What will she do when the King's laws threaten her mentors?
Vani's destiny seems determined to give her the fairy-tale ending she doesn't want. Will she be able to trick her fate into allowing her a true Homecoming?