Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Thirteenth Princess (MG)


The Thirteenth Princess. Diane Zahler. 2010. HarperCollins. 245 pages.

My name is Zita, and I am the thirteenth of thirteen princesses. My twelve sisters have become the subject of legend, even in faraway kingdoms, but I am sure that you have never heard of me.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Chances are you've heard of them. Maybe you've even read a novelization of that fairy tale. There have been several released recently. This one adds a slightly different twist to the story. What if there were a thirteenth princess? A princess that proves integral to the story because she helps solve the mystery.

Zita, our heroine, is a likable narrator. She's been raised apart from her sisters because of her father's irrational anger. He's never gotten over his wife's death. He blames Zita for it. So from the day she was born, she's been raised by the servants, trained to be a servant. Zita didn't learn the truth about herself until later. How is a girl supposed to cope with news like this? Her father is alive. But he doesn't want her. He doesn't love her. She has sisters. Twelve of them. All beautiful. All loved by the king. All living in luxury. But her life, anything but luxurious. She waits on others, serves others. She's used to being invisible. How can she have a relationship with her sisters? How do they feel towards her?

The Thirteenth Princess was an interesting book. I would recommend it to those fantasy-lovers that like fairy tale novelizations.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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