Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Extra-Ordinary Princess - Carolyn Q. Ebbitt

Summary:  All seemed well in the beautiful and peaceful land of Gossling.  For Amelia, born the fourth daughter in a line of princesses, life under her parents rule was filled with the happiness of a lucky childhood.  With her imperfect schoolwork and unruly red hair, she never imagined that she--who seemed so ordinary compared to her talented and beautiful sisters--would be called upon to lead her country.

But when a plague sweeps the land, taking her parents' lives and leaving the sisters and the country under the rule of their terrifying uncle, Count Raven, only Amelia escapes.  And as Raven closes the schools, punishes the citizens, and lays waste to the fields, only Amelia, with the help of her friends and their trust in the goodness of their land, can lead the people and inspire them to overthrow Raven's forces.  (Summary from book - Image from amazon.com)

My Review: I knew, from the very first chapter, that I would like Carolyn Q. Ebbit’s first novel. I settled right into the story, with a contented sigh, and fully enjoyed the time I spent reading. The Extra-Ordinary Princess reminded me of Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, The Swan Maiden by Heather Tomlinson, and Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, and not just in its propensity towards feathered friends as characters. If you like fairytale retellings, you will know what I mean when I say this book has the same fairytale feel to it as they do. It was full prophecies and magic, terrible evil and courageous deeds all wrapped up with a strong heroine (or several) who learns to trust her own instincts.

Amelia’s journey to save her kingdom from the evil Count Raven serves both to entertain and to teach a wonderful lesson to young girls ages 9 through 12. Amelia felt that she was just an ordinary princess and that there was nothing special about her in a family of such gifted sisters. So many girls feel that way--I know I did--and it was particularly satisfying to read a story where the heroine isn’t stunningly attractive or especially gifted, but learns her true value throughout the course of the book .

In The Extra-Ordinary Princess, Carolyn Q. Ebbit manages to tell a beautiful, uplifting story of courage and loyalty, with just the right mix of fantasy, suspense, and adventure, that will leave both young and old readers equally delighted. I look forward to reading it to my daughters when they are a little bit older and have longer attention spans.

My Rating: 4 Stars, perfect for any age.

Sum it up: An extraordinary fairytale adventure.

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