WARRIOR PRINCESS by Frewin Jones

WARRIOR PRINCESS

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A reluctant heroine embraces her destiny in this bland historical fantasy as generic as its title. Branwen is sent away from her border home in seventh-century Wales after her brother is slaughtered by Saxon marauders. Grieving and miserable among more elegant court ladies, Branwen is shocked when the ancient goddess Rhiannon mystically selects her to “save this land.” While she bitterly rejects the prophecy, her friendship with a half-Saxon runaway and surreptitious weapons training nonetheless equip her to help repel an invading force—but at a terrible cost. Branwen floats adrift through the narrative, devoid of a distinctive voice and buffeted by more decisive characters. Jones makes some effort to ground the story historically by scattering authentic names and artifacts, but the depiction of early medieval life is both clichéd and anachronistic. Especially jarring is the oddly context-free role of religion; Brythons constantly invoke “the saints” and strenuously repudiate their former gods, yet there is not a single reference to the faith or institutions that replaced them. Still, Branwen’s adventures may beguile a few dull hours; the conclusion blatantly advertises that sequels are forthcoming. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-087143-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Eos/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2009




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