DATE PUBLISHED: 28th February 2017
The last thing she needs is a prince. The first thing she needs is some magic.
Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.
Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land—and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.
The prose of this story is reminiscent of childhood fairytales. A rag-tag group of questers set out to find the ingredients for a transmogrification lip balm to turn back all the people-turned animals that the evil Duke has cursed – not to mention the Prince.
There is a subtle nod to tales such as Snow White, Aladdin and Robin Hood linking them to this story. This book falls somewhere between Middle Grade and Young Adult and there is absolutely no romance storyline. A refreshing story with family motivations and discussions about the influence of privilege and the responsibilities that brings.
Anya is a hands-on heroine. She takes on the task of saving her kingdom and the Prince and does not act the damsel in distress. This positive female role-model is also quick-witted and kind. I found it a true pleasure to read her story. Ardent is a great side-character, he is the side-kick for Anya. Oh, and did I mention, a talking dog with a slight stutter. He is funny and goofy and provides comic relief to this story.
This is a tongue-in-cheek, entertaining and engaging retelling of The Frog Prince. A fun and high-spirited adventure fairytale to appeal to fans of The Princess Bride.
Keep Calm and Read On,