A TRUE PRINCESS by Diane Zahler

A TRUE PRINCESS

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-182501-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2011




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