Books by Diane Zahler

THE MARVELWOOD MAGICIANS by Diane Zahler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"A hair-raising, exhilarating, big-top mystery. (Fantasy/mystery. 8-13)"
Mathilda "Mattie" Marvelwood wants a normal life: friends, school, and a home in one place. Read full book review >
BAKER'S MAGIC by Diane Zahler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A sweet, magical, environmentally conscious adventure. (Fantasy. 8-11)"
A young orphan will need all the magic she can muster if she is to help her friends, defeat an evil mage, and figure out how to save the kingdom from destruction. Read full book review >
SLEEPING BEAUTY'S DAUGHTERS by Diane Zahler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 27, 2013

"A refreshing fairy tale that breaks the passive-heroine mold. (Fantasy. 9-13)"
Two sisters quest to break a spell, even as one of them succumbs to the same curse that kept their mother asleep for 100 years. Read full book review >
PRINCESS OF THE WILD SWANS by Diane Zahler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"A pleasant magical outing. (Fairy tale/fantasy. 8-12)"
In her third fairy-tale novelization, Zahler (The Thirteenth Princess, 2010, and A True Princess, 2011) dips into Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans" and mixes in a bit of Celtic folklore. Read full book review >
A TRUE PRINCESS by Diane Zahler
ADVENTURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

Incorporating elements from Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea," Norse mythology and European faerie lore, Zahler crams this brisk tale with an amalgam of folklore motifs, stock characters and familiar plot points. The overall story arc is predictable: A mistreated waif runs away from an evil-stepmother equivalent and winds up living happily ever after. Along the way she stumbles into an enchanted forest, escapes both brigands and elves, makes friends with some powerful people and eventually discovers her (predictably royal) identity. Lilia is unexpectedly accompanied by the brother and sister with whom she was raised, but unfortunately Kai and Karina, like the rest of the cast, are flatly drawn. The inclusion of unfamiliar elements, like the nisse, a magical creature who protects a farm and family, and Odin's Hunt, a supernatural event that presages tragedy, add interest, as does Lilia's bold effort to return a crowd of stolen children to their respective families. Ultimately, the narrative feels overstuffed and Lilia never quite manages to become a compelling character. A middling middle-grade muddle. (Fairy tale/fantasy. 9-12)Read full book review >
THE THIRTEENTH PRINCESS by Diane Zahler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

This sweetly written reimagining of "The 12 Dancing Princesses" is for younger readers than the richer and darker Princess of the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George (2009). Narrator Zita is the 13th princess of the title, although she lives and works with the servants. Her 12 sisters all have names that begin with A, as did their mother, but her father named her and banished her when her mother died at Zita's birth. Stealthily she sneaks into her sisters' lives in ways her father has forbidden, and they love her, but they are falling prey to exhaustion and illness. A clever stableboy, his soldier brother, a wise woman in the woods and Cook help Zita to unravel the enchantment that holds her sisters. Delicious descriptions of gowns and (worn-out) slippers, teas and sweetmeats, pink castle and dark forest make up for the pale villains, incomplete magic and the occasional obviousness of the story's fairy-tale skeleton. (Fairy tale/fantasy. 8-12)Read full book review >