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A True Princess Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061825018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061825019
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Readers who enjoyed Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, Zahler’s The Thirteenth Princess or E.D. Baker’s “Tales of the Frog Princess” series will also relish this tale.” (School Library Journal)

About the Author

Diane Zahler is the author of The Thirteenth Princess, A True Princess, and Princess of the Wild Swans. Her books have been praised for their "delicious descriptions" (Kirkus Reviews) and their "gratifying depth" (Publishers Weekly). Diane lives with her husband in New York's Harlem Valley, in an old farmhouse held together by magic spells and duct tape.


More About the Author

I grew up reading children's books and never wanted to do anything but write them. Then HarperCollins Children's Books offered me a contract -- and now I'm the author of four fairy tale novels. Magic does happen! I live in the country with my husband in what is aptly nicknamed the Bug House. Visit my website at www.dianezahler.com.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
Fabulous, full of fantastic details and a great storyline.
Peter Semmelhack
While there are elements of the "Princess and the Pea" fairy tale in this book, it takes most of its basic mythology from Germanic and other European folklore.
lore
The younger readers for whom this novel is intended will love them while older readers will love to recognize the tidbits of true mythology hinted at.
Emily J. Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Give me more of Diane Zahler's stories, please. She's new to the YA fantasy genre, and A TRUE PRINCESS seems to be only her second book in this. But I enjoyed it, read thru it in one sitting (it helps that it's only 182 pages long). It's a retelling of the classic "The Princess and the Pea," done up sort of like a fractured fairy tale but not so pop culture savvy and hip. The story sustains enough of the classic fantasy elements that it doesn't feel jaggedly modernized or cynical. There is, however, a pamphlet on "How To Tell A True Princess" floating around in these pages. Present as well is that message of girl empowerment. And that, of course, is very okay.

Twelve-year-old Lilia chose to flee rather than be sold to the cruel local miller as his new servant. Lilia, who was found floating in a rough basket down a river when she was two, never got the hang of being a peasant, wasn't adept at chores, anyway. She tends to be flighty and half-asleep all the time and her cooking is seriously atrocious stuff. Running away, Lilia heads north, thinking to trace her steps, look up her family. Big task for a little girl. It helps that her two friends, Karina and Kai, accompany her.

But, in the menacing Bitra Forest, Kai falls in the clutches of the dreadful Elf-King's daughter. To save him, Lilia and Karina must hire on as maid servants at the palace of the kingdom of Dalir and there unearth a hidden enchanted artifact. Never mind that this item, once in the grasp of the Elf-King, constitutes horrible times ahead for everyone.

In this same palace a different search is being conducted, some mysterious test to reveal a true princess, someone who'd be a match for the prince of the realm. Except that so far none had passed the test, which takes place in a locked chamber.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emily J. Morris VINE VOICE on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I admit, I didn't have the highest of hopes for this novel. Oh, it certainly looked cute enough, but these days with all the fairy tale retellings it can be pretty darn difficult to churn out something that stands above the rest. But Ms. Zahler manages to take the familiar tale of the Princess and the Pea, mix it up with the story of some runaway children as well as plenty of folklore, and wind up with one of the finest fairy tale retales I've had the pleasure of reading in a while.

Lilia is a servant girl, and a terrible one at that. The family she has been serving since she was a child has decided to get rid of her, so she and the family's two children run away. The relationship between the children is sweet and believable. However, trouble arises when one of them becomes captured by the Elf-King, leaving the other two to rescue him. The key? To fetch a legendary jewel that is rumored to be kept in a castle that is searching for a true princess.

Lilia is a charming little narrator and so sweet and three-dimensional I instantly fell in love with her. Her fellow characters are interesting as well; admittedly, they do little besides move the plot along, but they do that job well enough without being annoying or boring.

My favorite part is the folklore and mythology infused into the tale. Elves, nisses, and even Odin all make appearances and are all adapted to suit the original world Lilia inhabits. The younger readers for whom this novel is intended will love them while older readers will love to recognize the tidbits of true mythology hinted at.

Then there is the writing. It's simple, enchanting, and easy-to-read without being humdrum. Ms. Zahler has a true gift at syntax and story-telling.

This is a great little book for young girls and a perfect example of how to really work out a fairy tale retelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book was so well written it felt like you were the main character, Lilia. It was like you understood every emotion the author described her having. After the second page, I could not put it down. I read a lot of books. This is definitely one of the best. With some books, you just read them you don't feel like you where there but with this book you feel like you experienced every thing. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne R. Arnholt VINE VOICE on December 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a charming story! For a young lady in the 12 yrs +/- 2yrs age bracket, this book is highly recommended. It tells the story of Lillia, a young orphan found in a basket in a river as a toddler, wrapped in an amazingly soft wool blanket the colors of a northern sky. She is raised with Karina and Kai, her step-father's children. When his wife finally becomes tired of caring for Lillia, she runs away to try to discover her real family. Kai and Karina join her on what becomes quite an adventure.

When the three are chased into the Bitra forest by thieves, Kai becomes ensnared by the Elf King's malicious daughter. Lillia and Karina beg a two week period to trade Odin's jeweled cloak clasp for Kai and all the children who have been stolen over the years. The Elf King's daughter tells them that she feels it in the castle.

They arrive at the castle and find a "true princess" test in the works. They also find that the kind young man who helped them on the road IS the prince, a young man with whom Karina has become smitten. The twists and turns as Lillia discovers her origins are somewhat predictable but enjoyably presented. Lillia is an impressive young lady, and the way the story is told will leave you cheering at the end.
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