Book Review: The Rebel Princess by Janice Sperry


There seems to have been a glut of re-imagined fairy tales of late. From Shrek to Maleficent, it seems we really can't get enough of new takes on the tired old stories and characters.

This book really does pack in all the beloved fairy tale cliches, from small animals needing kisses from princesses to fairy godmothers, evil twins and maidens locked in towers, but it throws them all in a blender, adds a large pinch of salt, and mixes them all up before churning them all out as high school students with issues.

Prince Charming is displaced in time, and is hanging around with the daughter of his intended princess. The princess in question wants to be dark and gothic and rebellious, but even her house is conspiring against her. Then there's their incompetent fairy godmother friend, and an enchanted forest where anything could happen.

The book is very fast-moving and dialogue heavy, but for its target audience of tweens to teens that's probably better than detailed description and ponderous prose. It's competently written and very amusing in places, but I found the main character annoying, and it didn't grab and hold my attention. That may well be because I'm twenty years too old and not a fan of fairy-tale fiction, of course. If you'd enjoy a light-hearted and surprisingly original  approach to centuries-old characters and situations, then this could well be the book for you.

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