A King Enchanter’s 13-year-old son and a Warrior Princess wind up together on a humorous journey of self-discovery.
Set in a realm where wizards and warriors are at war with one another, this novel is a rollicking adventure tale and coming-of-age story rolled into one enjoyable package. Though from two different worlds, Prince Xar and Princess Wish are united by their mutual misfit status within their respective communities. For Xar, the fact that he cannot perform magic makes him the target of ridicule from his cruel brother and a disappointment to his powerful father, while Wish’s inability to conform to the codes of her warrior clan renders her a friendless oddity. A chance meeting in the woods separating their kingdoms brings the teens together on a journey that teaches them the importance of learning to think for themselves. Cowell’s latest work offers a fully realized fantasy world abounding with witches, sprites, killer plants, and talking ravens. Her scrappy teenage protagonists are wonderfully flawed and almost scarily realistic in their bravery, selfishness, and desire to please their parents yet not surrender their individuality. The omniscient narrator’s voice is pitch-perfect, sounding appropriately young without ever talking down to the target audience. Readers will fall in love with the imaginative worldbuilding and humorous dialogue and asides. Cowell’s scratchy, smudgy drawings, many full-page, liberally illustrate the text, depicting both Xar and Wish with pale skin.
A delightful magical romp. (Fantasy. 9-13)