Setting generally encapsulates the time period and location of a story. Regarding the time period, Cinder takes place far in the future. Readers know that the story is taking place 126 years after a hypothetical World War IV. That could be "in the near future," but other parts of the story push readers toward seeing that the book is set much farther into the future. The moon has been colonized for quite some time, and the Lunar people have evolved to the point where they are perhaps not even human anymore. Countries don't exist in the way that they do today, so the physical setting of the book doesn't match up with current Earth locations. The majority of the book takes place in New Beijing, where Cinder lives with her stepmother and stepsisters. Parts of the book take place at their home, while other settings are the city market and the palace where Prince Kai lives.