Monday, September 22, 2008

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Princess Ben’s parents are killed, leaving her in the care of her conniving aunt who is also Queen. Soon after being entrusted in Queen Sophia’s care Princess Ben is locked away, starved and miserable. She spends her days taking boring classes her aunt insists that she takes, and spends her nights locked in her cell. One evening she stumbles upon a hidden passageway that leads to an enchanted room. Now begins her own self-taught magical lessons. Ben’s private adventure is soon stopped when she learns she is to wed Prince Florian of Drachensbett, the very kingdom accused of murdering her parents! In an attempt to escape she ends up a prisoner for the very people she is hiding from. She now has to find a way back home to prepare the kingdom for war and finally accept her responsibilities.

I thought this book was rather charming and unique. I enjoyed Ben’s character, and reading about her many adventures. I thought she was easy to relate to because she wasn’t perfect, and things didn’t always turn out the way she wanted. It was fun to follow her progress throughout the book, as she turns from a somewhat spoiled girl to a Queen. I liked the concept of Prince Florian, but thought his character was underdeveloped. His character didn’t really appear until about 200 pages and even then they barely spent any time together. The time they were together was fun to read, because of the tension and misunderstandings. Also, I would have preferred if instead of Ben using her new found freedoms to steal from the kitchens, I would have enjoyed reading about her learning more spells, or finding other secrets. Too much focus was put on her love of food. One aspect I really enjoyed was the references to other fairytales. Ben trades some “magic beans” for a cow, loses her shoe after a ball (by throwing it at the prince), is stuck in a tall tower, has an “evil” step-aunt, and is under a spell of sleep, just to name a few. It almost makes me want to re-read to see if there were any others that I might have missed.

If you enjoy fairytales than you would enjoy this book, it is a fun read with plenty of twists to keep you entertained.
Reviewed by: Kathy

1 comment:

  1. I've almost picked this one up a couple times. I love the idea of all the references to other fairy tales. Fun!

    Hey, I nominated you for a blog award on mine. :)


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