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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Release Date: 2/1/2011
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About the Book: (from book) Twelve-year-old Lilia is not a very good servant. She daydreams, she breaks dishes, and her cooking is awful! Still, she hardly deserves to be sold off to the mean-spirited miller and his family. Lilia refuses to accept that dreadful fate, and with her best friend Kai and his sister Karina beside her, she heads north to find the family she's never known. But danger awaits. . . .
As their quest leads the threesome through the mysterious and sinister Bitra Forest, they suddenly realize they are lost in the elves' domain. To Lilia's horror, Kai falls under an enchantment cast by the Elf-King's beautiful daughter. The only way for Lilia to break the spell and save Kai is to find a jewel of ancient power that lies somewhere in the North Kingdoms. Yet the jewel will not be easy to find. The castle where it is hidden has been overrun with princess hopefuls trying to pass a magical test that will determine the prince's new bride. Lilia has only a few days to search every inch of the castle and find the jewel—or Kai will be lost to her forever.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: If your tween (or even teen) readers are anything like the ones I know at my library, fairy tales always go over well. A True Princess has it's roots in The Princess and the Pea, but that's only part of the story and the plot stands firmly on its own.
Lilia is searching for her family but also searching for a way to rescue Kai. These stories weave together nicely and have a very fairy tale feel to them. While the story might be a bit predictable, especially for older readers, it's still a lot of fun to read and there are plenty of twists and turns that may surprise some readers.
Lilia is a very likeable character. She's loyal to her friends, she stands up for what she believes and she shows a lot of courage. She's a great fairy tale heroine who kicks a little butt! But it's not just Lilia who is likeable-the secondary characters are all well drawn and you really like the whole cast of characters. There is a bit of romance in this one, but it's all very sweet and tween friendly. There's also plenty of humor. Each chapter starts with a phrase from a booklet entitled "How To Tell A True Princess" and include things like "A True Princess Does Not Gossip" and it's fun to see how Lilia proves each chapter heading wrong!
This is a perfect read for tweens who want a light fairy tale, especially if those readers are fans of Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine.
Book Pairings: Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
About the Author:
Diane Zahler, author of A True Princess, has loved tales of fairies and magic since before she was old enough to read. She has worked in the children’s room at a public library, in children’s book publishing, and as an elementary and high school textbook writer. The Thirteenth Princess, her first novel for young readers, was published in 2010. She lives with her husband and dog in an old farmhouse in the Harlem Valley that is held together with duct tape and magic spells. Diane’s website is: http://www.dianezahler.com/.
Ms. Zahler will be stopping by the blog today to answer readers questions in the comments below-so ask away!!
Be sure to follow the tour to the next stop, Mother Daughter Book Club and There's a Book. The full tour schedule can be found here.