A steampunk Cinderella who has to rely on her own determination, hard work and magic instead of on singing mice and sewing birds manages to triumph over a wicked magician who just happens to be her stepmother. This is my favorite of the Elemental Masters series. I enjoy the historically accurate detail of WWI England, and I applaud the author's return to the roots of the Cinderella story, where the heroine is far from passive. There's a bit of gore, a lot of darkness, and a Prince Charming who has his own obstacles to overcome.
The only reason this gets four stars instead of five is that having an auxiliary evil magician named Warrick Locke is just too cutesy for me to stomach. Otherwise, it's a superb book.