Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

Title: The Princess Curse
Author: Merrie Haskell
Genre: YA, Juvi, fairy tale, light romance
Star Rating: 4/5 stars

Taken from Goodreads, "Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice--will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?"

Well, this is a tough one. 'The Princess Curse' is a solid read, but is tarnished by the fact that it clearly reads like the first book in a series and not a standalone. If a sequel were being published, this wouldn't be a problem, but as there is no planned sequel... Storylines are tied up to a point, but there's a ton of things hinted at throughout the novel that are left open (and not all of those things are small, inconsequential things!).

The beginning of the novel was a little slow for me. I wasn't hooked until I was about 1/3rd into the story. Other than that, the storytelling was filled with some great lines, some of which gave me a laugh. The main character in this novel is only 13, so while romance is discussed, we don't see much of it. Honestly, though, it would have been a little weird for me if they'd gone further into the romance storyline, with the main character being so young. The final chapters (epilogue, if you will) seemed a little rushed, but the pacing over all wasn't too bad.

Speaking of the characters, I quite liked them. They weren't all developed to the extent they could have been (like the Gardners apprentice), but overall, the main leads seemed pretty solid.

The main problem with this novel is that it just isn't complete. There is a complete story that is told, but it's clear to me that this is just the first of what should be at least two novels. However, I think I still may recommend 'The Princess Curse' to young readers looking for a solid read. (At the very least, maybe it will help get us a sequel!)