From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7–Princess Meg, 15, has a problem. Her father, the king of Greeve, has issued a proclamation offering her hand in marriage to any prince who can defeat a dragon, a witch, and a hoard of local bandits. The princess isnt thrilled with this plan. After all, the witch is harmless, the dragon defunct, and the bandits steal from the rich and give to the poor. Unfortunately, because she objects so strongly, she is immediately sequestered to the tower until the contest is over. Fortunately, Meg knows how to get out of a difficult situation, and its up to her to warn the witch, help the bandits, and take care of a relatively innocent young dragon before some of the less-than-honorable princes wreak havoc on the kingdom. Coombss good-natured tale is as comfortable poking fun at established fairy-tale tropes as it is honoring them. Readers will have no difficulty rooting for Meg, and the story as a whole is a pleasurable read with amusing details and witty twists. Pair this rousing adventure with Gail Carson Levines Ella Enchanted
(HarperCollins, 1997).–Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library
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In an attempt to replenish the treasury of Greve, King Stromgard offers his 15-year-old daughter Meg's hand in marriage to the prince who can rid the kingdom of a dragon, a witch, and some pesky bandits. The plan calls for Meg to be sequestered in a tower for the duration, a troublesome detail that she quickly circumvents with the help of several other palace teens. Together they rescue the dragon (a baby); warn the witch (receiving her help in return); meet a helpful young wizard; and discover that the bandits are really not as evil as everyone thinks. Coombs, who also wrote The Secret Keeper
(2006), has created another strong heroine who eschews the trappings of her birth in the pursuit of truth, justice, and adventure. Reminiscent of Jean Ferris' Once upon a Marigold
(2002) and M. M. Kaye's The Ordinary Princess
(1984), this witty, humorous tale will be popular with fantasy buffs who enjoy takeoffs on fairy tales. Kay WeismanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved