Stray by Elissa Sussman

Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 5/26/2015 11:00:00 AM

Stray is a dystopian fairytale, with elements of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Maleficent.  Princesses are sent to  academies to learn to control their magic and catch a husband.  Those who can't control the magic or Stray,  are "Redirected" to become fairy godmothers to other princesses.  Girls follow the "path" to help keep them pure, and wife material. The fairy godmothers help guide them, while also being asked to report on their activities to the headmistresses of the academies. 
Aislynn has recently been redirected and sent to learn how to be a fairy godmother for Lianna, a crown princess.  Aislynn adjusts to her new reality, from princess to servant in one day, with the help Brigid and Thackery.  She also uncovers a sort of underground railroad for girls being hidden from the Evil Queen Josetta, Linanna's aunt. 
While I enjoyed the story, I was bothered by how all the princesses are desperate to catch a husband. They have to hide their magic at great personal cost, frequently causing personal injury. Even after marriage, if they are "caught" displaying magic, their husband's can send them to be "redirected" , and keep the kingdom they got through marriage.  I felt like there was a emphasis on the girls being blindly submissive and feeling the need to catch a husband to the exclusion of all else.