By Jeffrey R. Epstein
Earlier this year, we met Delphine, a young, adventurous mouse who just so happens to live in the walls of Cinderella’s chateau. In that first book, Delphine and the Silver Needle, the titular character discovers an ancient secret that sends her on a magical quest—with pompous noblemouse Alexander—to learn more about who she is… and hopefully save the kingdom from an evil darkness that threatens everyone she knows and loves.
D23 is thrilled to reveal the cover for Silver Needle’s companion book: Delphine and the Dark Thread, hitting shelves March 1, 2022. The book takes on the next (and final? We shall see) leg of Delphine’s journey.
We also sat down with the series’ author, Alyssa Moon, in her SoCal home to talk Delphine, Cinderella, and what lies ahead. The charming author was only mildly distracted by her adorable cat, Picklepop (who she dubs “the real Cornichonne”—for those who have read the first book).
Why did it make sense to anchor Delphine’s story in Cinderella’s world?
To me, Cinderella lives in the most iconic of all the “Disney fairytale” worlds. It’s rich and engaging and full of magic. I adore Mary Blair’s early concept art. And I’ve always loved the little mice who live alongside Cinderella. I felt like there was so much potential to learn about their dreams and their adventures within Cinderella’s story. Then I started wondering, If dressmaker mice live in the walls of Cinderella’s chateau, do royal mice live in the walls of Prince Charming’s castle? The more I imagined the lives of these mice, the more I realized this was a story that I wanted to tell. It began with Delphine and the Silver Needle, and now it continues with even more danger and excitement in Delphine and the Dark Thread.
Do you see any parallels between Delphine and Cinderella?
Delphine has grown up alongside Cinderella, and because of that, she has the same sense of kindness and courage—and talent for sewing beautiful ballgowns—as Cinderella. When her story begins, Delphine is still unsure of herself, and she has a lot to learn about seeing the good in others who are different than she is. But from the very start of book one, she has the same dream as Cinderella: to follow her heart and discover the world outside of the chateau walls. In book two, she’ll be put to the test to use both her courage and her kindness to save the kingdom that she loves.
The first book was an incredible adventure—how would you describe it to someone who was interested in reading it?
I’m so glad you liked it! I usually say: “It’s the big adventure of a little mouse in a kingdom of magic, mystery, and danger.” A reviewer called it “Disney’s Lord of the Rings for tweens.” I love that description, because Delphine is just an everyday mouse who discovers that she holds the power in her tiny paws to change the fate of the world. With evil rat troops hot on her tail, she finds herself in a race against time to unravel the mystery of her identity and unlock long-forgotten magic. But will she be too late? It’s the start of an adventure so big, it couldn’t fit into just one book.
Is there a message you hope people take away from the book?
The mice believe that all rats are evil… but is that really true? Are all noblemice selfish and shallow, or can a noblemouse also be a true friend? Can a tiny dressmaker mouse really save an entire kingdom? To me, the big message is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Delphine discovers that not everything is as it seems, and when she takes this to heart, she’s able to embrace and accept others for who they are on the inside.
Without giving too much away, what can we look forward to in Delphine’s “next chapter”?
Delphine and the Dark Thread is packed with even more plot twists than the first book! There’s also more of Delphine’s incredible needle magic, Alexander’s laugh-out-loud antics, scary rat encounters, and everyone’s favorite “cat,” Cornichonne. Plus, there are new Easter eggs for eagle-eyed Disney fans. I can’t wait for readers to dive into book two and unravel the mysteries of Delphine’s world. The magical adventure has only just begun!