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The Ugly Princess: The Legend of the Winnowwood Kindle Edition

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Length: 233 pages Matchbook Price: $0.00 What's this?
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Age Level: 10 - 18
Grade Level: 5 - 12
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About the Author

I am an award-winning screenplay writer with a deep love of fairytales. After watching yet another movie where a beautiful, helpless princess was saved by an equally beautiful prince, I started wondering… What would happen if the princess wasn’t beautiful, but was kind, strong, and courageous? What if, instead of being saved, she was the one who saved the day? Because such a story had yet been untold, I decided to tell it myself. My debut book, The Ugly Princess, is based on the screenplay of the same name, which won numerous screenplay awards, including the Adult/Family Screenplay Competition Award in the 2001 Austin Film Festival. I dedicate my book to all the young girls who stand on the sidelines wishing they too could be beautiful, in the hopes that they will find in its pages the encouragement to open their eyes to their own magic and realize how beautiful they truly are and the power they already yield.

Product Details

  • File Size: 936 KB
  • Print Length: 233 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1492221457
  • Publication Date: March 6, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,075 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emily E. Lewis on July 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I received a copy of this book for free through the Goodreads FirstRead program; consequently, most of this review was also posted on Goodreads.

I finally got the chance to start this book at about 6:30 this evening. It's now 10:00, and I've finished it. It's a fast, easy, compelling read. The story is tightly-wound and moves quickly through its plot. That quickness can occasionally leave me wanting a little more depth (particularly in the vein of some thin characterizations and a few key events that passed before I could quite understand them). That said, it was a great book that I very thoroughly enjoyed. And I absolutely fell in love with Princess Olive.

(Spoiler Free) SUMMARY: The Winnowwood are a powerful race of women born with unbelievable power over the natural world -- healing and commanding animals, controlling the weather, shapeshifting... The price they pay for that magic, however, is that each time they use it, they become more and more ugly. Long ago, though, they were cursed with the choice to give up their powers to become as beautiful as they had been ugly. Our heroine, Princess Olive, is the last of the Winnowwood who has not chosen beauty over power (despite pressure from her father and transformed sister to do so).

Both Olive's powers and her appearance become crucial to the fate of her people as war approaches from both within her kingdom and from the barbarians across the sea. Can she learn to use her magic as well as her ancestors who could call down lightning to defeat any foe? Can she gain the respect and trust necessary to command those around her to save the kingdom? Can she hold onto her confidence and courage when she alone is left to protect the ones she loves?

CRITIQUE: I am a sucker for fairy-tales. I love fairy-tales.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Garbato on June 18, 2014
Format: Paperback
(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Goodreads’ First Read program. Also, this review contains clearly marked spoilers towards the end.)

“I wondered if in the history of the world there had ever been a Princess as ugly as me? I doubted it. But was there ever a Princess in the history of the world who saved their kingdom twice from annihilation by the time they were eighteen, and I doubted that as well. I gave myself a brave smile then attached the veil to my crown and appraised myself – well, it was a beautiful dress.”

So there’s this princess named Olive, see.

But she’s also a magical creature called a Winnowwood – the last of her kind.

In addition to being troll-like in appearance, Winnowwoods can control nature, speak to animals, assume animal form, even heal their fellow earthlings. But every time a Winnowwood uses her magic to change something outside of herself – such as to heal her nonhuman friends – she becomes uglier on the outside: she sprouts a new boil or wart, for example. But to the animals she just grows more and more beautiful.

Hundreds of years ago, the lands were teeming with Winnowwoods. But a witch called Cassandra the Dragon Slayer cursed them with a knife, the Blade of Winnowwood, which tempts the Winnowwoods with physical beauty: should they use it to sever their crux (an extra joint on their pinky which is the source of their powers), they will lose their magics in exchange for youth and beauty. This is why all the Winnowwood save for Olive are gone – having long since died or succumbed to the curse. The beauty a Winnowwood will attain after “winnowing” is inversely related to how ugly she is at the time of the ceremony.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cathleen Lykens on July 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Ugly Princess by Henderson Smith is an enchanting fantasy tale with an enduring theme--Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Princess Olive is scorned by her father for choosing to embrace her legacy of magic and healing over beauty. Each loving and healing act that she performs leaves a mark upon her face...will she ever find someone willing to look beyond her damaged face and see the true beauty within....?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessi on July 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In one word, this book is: adorable. But a case could also be made for "empowering." This is a definite must read for young girls, which is well defined from the start in the author's dedication page. The author does a delightful job of exploring the meaning of beauty. For the ugliest people are those who sacrifice a piece of themselves the most. While the most beautiful are those that have given up their powers to help others. I can tell one of the authors main points is to illustrate that people can be seen for their deeds instead of only by their outward appearance. I think this is sweetly discovered by the main character. This main character was compelling, enduring, and relatable. How often young girls undervalue themselves and think nobody understands them or that nobody can truly love who they are inside.

This book has good characterization, especially with some of the animal characters. I was sad her grandpa never showed up again at the end. However, overall the story is extremely enjoyable for adult readers and should resonate with younger readers, especially with all the commercialized air brushed beauty they see around them in magazines, on movie screens, etc.

Were they are predictable moments? Yes. But the author also has some good surprises for you too, particularly in the last chapter. There is going to be more, and I'm so excited about it!


I think my favorite moment was when Olive becomes the prophesy. The magic was enchanting, and I liked how it tied to the early Winnowwood. But a truly character-defining moment was when Olive first saw herself after the transformation, and she wasn't impressed. She wasn't that girl. At least that's not what she saw herself as. She had never valued beauty. She never needed it.
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Topic From this Discussion
Second Book? Please!
Hi Elise,

I'm so glad you enjoyed "The Ugly Princess" and yes, I am writing the sequel, which is tentatively titled, "Betrayed by Beauty." I'm hoping to have it out in November, fingers crossed.

Thanks for your support!
Aug 5, 2014 by Bobbette A. Smith |  See all 2 posts
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