Tag Archives: princess

Assassins, Betrayal and a Splash of Romance

Book Stats: Aurelia

Author: Anne Osterlund

Age group: 14-18

Where to buy: Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com

Length: 246

Rating: 7 out of 10

My third choice of book was inspired by a viewing of a fairy tale movie that came out in theaters this last week. I wanted a princess story and lucky for me I had already bought one in my shopping spree.

Aurelia is the willful and outspoken crown princess of Tyralt. While she worries about an itchy ankle at her sister’s coming out party something much more sinister goes on behind the scenes. The body of Aurelia’s taster is quietly taken away, another assassination attempt kept from the princess.

The next day the son of the king’s former spy master returns to the palace to investigate the attempts on her life. Robert once went to school with Aurelia in the palace and easily renews their friendship. Most importantly he is determined to protect her and discover who is behind the plot on her life.

Soon he is forced to tell her of the danger just to get her to stop foolishly putting her life in danger. Yet even with her help will he be able to discover the culprit before it is too late?

Betrayal comes from the most unexpected places in Anne Osterlund’s first novel. The plot will keep you guessing even as a tentative romance develops between Aurelia and Robert.

I enjoyed this book for the most part. Osterlund shows her story telling abilities well in this novel, weaving a mystery that does not reveal itself until the last moment. The romance felt a bit forced to me and the changing perspectives between Robert and Aurelia was sometimes confusing.

The part that probably bothered me the most was Aurelia’s habit of running away when something bothered her. Everything from an unintentional insult to an unexpected kiss sends her running. I wished to see her grow up a bit more in the course of the book.

Thank goodness Osterlund wrote a sequel, to come out in April of next year. Otherwise I would want to toss the book at a wall for the way it left so many questions unanswered.

It is an interesting coming of age story with a good mix of mystery, intrigue and romance. Aurelia sees more and more in the story how she would like to lead her country and how tradition can sometimes stand in the way of progress. She grows some but I am interested to see how she will grow in the sequel to come. I’ll have to let you know how I feel after I have a chance to read it.

Until then I would still recommend this book. I think many young readers can enjoy the writing style of Osterlund and her development of the plot. By April I hope to not be the only person awaiting the publication of the sequel: Exile.

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“You shall be Ordinary”

I think we shall try (as much as possible) to review/suggest two books a week. They mostly will be a long time favorites of mine that I have read more than once. My current schedule is rather packed with school reading so I don’t have time for much else.

Book Stats: The Ordinary Princess

Author: M.M. Kaye

Age Group: 9-14

Where to buy: Amazon.com

Length: 112 pages

Rating: 8 out of 10

“You shall be Ordinary”

The words jump off the back cover of my 1986 version of The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye.

Even as a nine year old girl those words gripped me from look one.

I had heard the classic fairy tales, the ones with the helpless female and heroic prince, and was dissatisfied with how much the princess had to rely on others for help. For the first time in my life the woman was more than just a helpless damsel trapped in a tower, Princess Amy took life into her own hands.

At her christening Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne, the seventh perfect princess in a line of perfect princesses, was “cursed” by a powerful fairy to be ordinary. From that day on she was nothing like her six blonde sisters and when the time came no one would marry her.

Her parents in their desperation to marry off their final daughter decide to hire a dragon to attract princes to win her hand.

When Amy hears this plan she finally does what she has wished to do for years, she runs away. A series of forest adventures, followed by dark days in a castle kitchen lead to the traditional happy ending.

As someone new to the genre of girl-power fantasy this book is a great introduction to a nontraditional fairy tale that maintains the childlike innocence of a Disney retelling.

For those of you looking for a fun easy read or a great recommendation for a growing girl look no further.

Personally this book will always be a classic on my bookcase, something I hope to one day read with my daughter as I teach her about the joy of reading.