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The Princetta Hardcover – August 8, 2006

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–Malva chafes in her role as Princetta of Galnicia. Her head is filled with fantasies of faraway adventure rather than focused on her upcoming wedding. When her teacher, the Archont, gives her a way to escape, Malva flees from her parents and their rules. Boarding a boat, she and her maid learn of a perfect island, but discover that they have been betrayed, and the girls must fight to stay alive. This is only the start of the trials of the Princetta, who walks for weeks, lands in a harem, is rescued by ship again, and eventually finds the island that she has been seeking. Throughout the book, readers will have difficulty relating to the characters. Malva's insistence on looking for her island is tiresome and baffling, and her realization of the truth comes very late in the book. Because the writing holds readers at a distance, the adventures are not particularly compelling. By the end of the lengthy story, the series of encounters has become rather overwhelming. Tamora Pierce's books have the strong female protagonists, humor, and good pacing that this story lacks.–Tasha Saecker, Menasha Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

On the eve of her arranged marriage, 15-year-old Malva, Princetta of peaceful Galnicia, hides inside a wine barrel to be smuggled out of the palace. Malva yearns to choose her own future, and gleefully embraces shipboard life as she sails to freedom in another land. Treachery is afoot, however. Young Orpheus McBott sets out to rescue the Princetta, and the two join forces in an odyssey that carries them far beyond the Known World, into the mysterious Archipelago--the realm of the fearsome Catabea. Joined by an eccentric band of comrades, the two must survive a horrifying series of trials that test their courage and loyalty. Rich descriptive language enhances this swashbuckling fantasy, which is chock-full of action, as the Princetta and her followers encounter sharks, pirates, fierce gales, monsters, villains and temptation. Readers who first encountered Bondoux's spare prose in the evocative The Killer's Tears (2006) are in for a surprise--as this is a totally different reading experience. Lynn Rutan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 16 years
  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books; Tra edition (August 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158234924X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582349244
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,939,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Phillip B. Spotts on December 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A pity really. It was a really nice story to begin with; a runaway princess (princetta), a pirates son out to rescue her, ships, monsters and magic. What more could anyone want in a story?

A decent ending maybe? Not going to find one here. Okay, so it's a "bad" ending. Bondoux is obviously one of those authors that think needlessly killing off a few protagonists is the height of literary excellence. I admit I don't like those kinds of endings, ruins the whole story for me, but it might be a little more palatable if it weren't done in such an off-handed and abrupt manner.

Anyway it did spoil the story for me and I went away from it with a bad taste in my mouth.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Caeli1926 on January 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'll admit, what first caught my attention about this book was the cover (I bought the newer version of this book). However, what really convinced me to actually buy this book was the brief summary on the back and the letter in the prologue. I thought this books was going to be about a strong, independent heroine who would do anything to preserve her freedom. Perhaps I did think that this book was going to be a bit cliche and somewhat like a romance novel for young adults, but that was still okay with me. I'm generally easily satisfied as long as the main characters have true strength. However, all my preconceptions about this book were very, very wrong.

The book started off well, with much potential to go in several directions. The main one I was thinking (especially from the description on the back) was that the heroine, Malva, the princetta, would stow away on some ship, be discovered by the captain, and they would fall in love and blah, blah, blah. Pretty cliche, but I like cliche, as long as it's well written cliche. This story did none of that, which I was pleasantly surprised by, but not for long.

I'm not really going to go into a step-by-step detailed outline of the plot or how this story progressed, by what I am going to do is discuss what I thought were some major flaws in the book. Poor editing (and uncreative place names) aside, Malva is one of the main reasons why this book was so hard to enjoy. As I was reading the novel I had a really hard time relating to her or even liking her very much. For someone who worked up the nerve to run away from home, and abandon her position more or less in the lap of luxury, Malva was an incredibly weak character.

For all her claims of wanting to be independent, at every turn Malva could do nothing by herself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By endlesswonderofreading VINE VOICE on June 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I also, as I'm assuming countless others did the same, picked The Princetta up solely because of the cover. Seriously, the book's marketing department deserves major kudos. I remember browsing through the YA section of my local B&N and thinking what last book to pick up (since I already had three must-haves). It was between this and another book (whose name currently evades me), but for some reason (mainly the cover), my eyes kept glancing at The Princetta. So, I decided to buy this one. Of course when I got home, I searched for the reviews on Amazon and thought I had made a terrible mistake when I saw that it was given an average rating of two and a half stars. All these reviews kept saying how terrible the book was particularly the ending. So, I was imagining that this book was going to be horrific, so I put off reading it for a while. Well, I finally picked it up and since my expectations were so incredibly low, I actually ended up really enjoying it.

I didn't think I was going to like the whole voyage storyline (yes I read the synopsis before I bought it and knew that a voyage was essential to the plot, but again I say, hello, look at the cover! Never underestimate the power of a beautiful cover...) because everytime I read a book about a sea voyage, I tend to get mildly seasick. (I'm well aware that this is weird and all in my head, but really I can't help it.) But I got sucked into the voyage like you wouldn't believe. I found myself looking forward to what island they would go to next and what terrible monsters they were going to face. I felt like a kid again who was always looking at those fantasy island maps and thinking, "I'd love to go there and fight monsters with my sword". Heh, even then there were no dreams of being a princess for me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Ripley on November 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I picked up this book, I thought it would be awesome. The prologue part where she writes a letter to her father was good and after the first twenty or so pages, I was hooked. So I bought it.

Words cannot describe how much I regret wasting ten bucks on this book. It may just be because it was translated from its native language, but I'm sure the translator couldn't have made it that bad. The story was interesting, I'll give it that, but it felt like there was almost no plot. The pacing was much too quick and, like another reviewer said, it seemed like the author tried to cram so many stories into just one book. The 'harem' that the author created was a very interesting concept, but that it where the good things end.

First of all, none of the characters except the twins had any personality. They were all flat and never developed very much, and when the author tried to develop them, it fell flat on its face. Orpheus was annoying and Malva (god, that's an ugly name) is obsessed with a country that doesn't exist. I thought that her obsession with Elgolia was going to be a major plot point, but it really wasn't. The love story was ridiculous, as the characters never even had a real conversation and then they acted like they'd known each other forever and were SO IN LOVE. I wanted to gag myself, seriously, it was so cliched. And it wasn't even written well!

The ending was SO unnecessary. I was reading it and I started yelling because it made NO sense. I'm not going to give it away, but if you like a book with a happy ending, don't read this book.

Also, the Archont was the most un-evil villain I've ever read about. We never find out why exactly he hates Malva and I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone would follow a 15 year old to the ends of the earth to kill her unless he had a good reason for it.

All in all, don't read this book. There were some good points, but mostly it was just really bad.
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