Monday, June 8, 2009

Princess Ben by Catherine Murdock (4/5 stars)

This was a cute book and a fast read. I actually listened to it on audio book and the audio book was well done.

Princess Benevolence is not you typical princess; she is not beautiful and she wants nothing to do with being a princess. When her parents are killed on a journey she is left alone with only the dreaded Queen as her teacher and guardian. Every time Ben thinks she reached the lowest low in her life things get worse; that is until she stumbles upon a magic room that leads her into an amazing adventure.

More than anything this book is about growing up. Ben is definitely not a likable character in the beginning on the book. There are a number of times when I think she deserved what the Queen dealt out; Ben is selfish and whiny. I kind of wish that a bit less of the book had been spent developing Ben's unsavory character. About a third of the book deals with Ben as she is forced to take on princess responsibilities that she detests. I would have been happier if Ben's character had been established quicker and we had moved on to more interesting parts of the story sooner.

After the first third or so the story picks up the pace. This story is a coming of age story clear and simple. It is not a complicated story and is an appropriate story for children and young adults; I enjoyed the story too. It was nice to read a good story that spans a large age group.

Although not the most wonderful or intricate story; this story is a cute twist on your classic princess and dragon fairy tales. It is simple and sweet story that doesn't tax your brain but still teaches some important life lessons. It was a fun read as Princess Ben has a dry sense of humor people should enjoy. I also enjoyed how Murdock wove some elements from classic fairy tales we all know and love into the story.

I would recommend this book and I look forward to more books by Murdock. If you like fairy tales and stories about princesses; this is the book for you. This isn't a life-changing story but it is a light and enjoyable read that has a good message in it.

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