“Garth Nix is on hilarious form as he spins his very own fairy tale, featuring Princess Anya, who, with her loyal dog, must embark on a terribly important (capital Q) Quest to acquire the ingredients for a reversal lip balm, the vital item needed to change a frog back to a prince . . . oh, and save her kingdom from her villainous step(step)father.
A brilliantly funny take on fairytales and quests for younger readers”
As a fan of Garth Nix, the Old Kingdom series being one of my first adult fantasy books and all/ long time favourites!
Although this book is probably for a younger audience – its still a very easy, enjoyable read! A fun story about a book obsessed second Princess who’s evil step stepfather turns anyone who displeases him into a frog – Anya our main character has to kiss them to turn them back. However as with most fairytales, its never that simple and the Princess must go on her own epic Quest for allies and ingredients to make the frog kissing potion (even if she is the most reluctant of heroes – who would rather be in her library reading about Quests than actually being on one).
As with all Nix stories – we have a mix of unusual and fun character. Anya’s older sister and heir to the throne, a librarian who when nervous bursts into feathers and becomes an owl living in the library shelves, the Royal talking dogs and the evil Duke who is also a sorcerer!
Anya sets off on her Quest and picks up some unusual sidekicks on her journey – a band of good robbers, Druids, Witches who are neither good nor bad, a Boy turned Newt and an Otter turned human (yes it does bring a smile to the face and a chuckle). So many strings of many famous fair tales are hinted and poked fun at – like the white bearded Wizard Merlin, The Seven Dwarves and wart covered, pot stirring Trio of witches.
As I said its a very quick and light read but does hold the attention.
As with all fairytales there is the hark to the deeper meaning of looking at what one has in life and being grateful for it, for making the most of what we have and helping others because although it may not be the easiest it is the right thing to do!
I enjoyed the journey Anya took on learning about herself and that as a Princess, she can rescue herself and doesn’t need a romantic interest to get where she needs in life!
Rating – 4 Stars!
If you enjoyed this book, I think you will also enjoy;
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Hero and the crown by Robin McKinley
Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
The Wind Singer by William Nicholson
The Reluctant Mage by Karen Miller
What I will be reading next;
Bayou Shadow Protector (Bayou Magic 2) by Debbie Herbert