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The Princess Curse Hardcover – September 6, 2011
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With a good sense of humor, an able and empowered protagonist, and a highly original take on this tale, Haskell’s story gives readers much to enjoy. (Publishers Weekly)
Haskell’s first novel offers a well-paced fantasy with an involving first-person narrative. (Booklist)
[An] intriguing mix of fairy tale, Romanian folklore, and classic mythology…readers will likely be as anxious to return to the Underworld as Reveka. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
From the Back Cover
Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?
Top Customer Reviews
The story starts off familiarly enough. There's something rotten in the state of Sylvania, a fictional Eastern European nation set in the 15th century. Every night, Prince Vasile's twelve daughters mysteriously disappear from their tower bedroom and return exhausted, with their slippers in tatters. Anyone who observes the princesses either disappears completely or falls into a deep, seemingly enchanted sleep. But if the risks are high, so are the rewards for breaking the curse: marriage with one of the princesses or a fabulous dowry.
Reveka, the herbalist's sharp-witted apprentice, dreams of having her own herbery in a convent, and that dowry is exactly what she needs to make it happen. (She knows the nuns would never take her without it.) But breaking the curse is no simple matter, and the stakes are far higher than she could have imagined. From invisibility spells to a mysterious stranger in the woods, to a dying world she didn't even know existed, Reveka is soon over her head in magic, treachery, and choices that affect not only her life, but also whole worlds.
The disparate plot lines come together cleverly and writing is sure-footed, but it's really the characters and the relationships between them that make The Princess Curse click for me.Read more ›
The author, Merrie Haskell, does not write down to her audience, which I think is tweeners- 11 to 15 maybe. The book has some mature concepts but not anything a person of this age can't handle. The character of Reveka is intelligent and shows an awareness of other people that the selfish princesses don't. She makes an excellent and strong heroine.
My sons were home schooled and this book would have an excellent teaching book, even though it's geared towards girls there isn't a reason a boy couldn't read and enjoy it. We would have started with identifying the different referenced stories and fairy tales, even seeing if they could find the few passing references to the historical dracula and studied Hildegard of Bingen, and how the author used real historical people to anchor her timeline and story.
The area and time of history could have been used for geography. Then we would have read the originating stories to discuss how the author wove them together into her own book. Finally a trip to the library for a herbal, the store or health food store and we could have whipped up a few teas and tansies. I loved books like this, that not only were good stories but would lead to other avenues of discussion or exploration or interest.
This is one of my favorite kind of books for young people, the story is interesting, the characters strong, and it branches out and opens many interesting doorways for them to explore.
I really enjoyed this book, enjoyed the mystery and how Reveka solved it. The ending has left room for a sequel that I would buy.
This book did a fabulous job of breathing new life into the Twelve Dancing princesses tale, and really, that isn't if center stage, which I liked a lot. It blends with another familiar-esque story that I won't go into because it will give away part of the mystery, but it was immediately recognizable....make that two additional ones. And though it is an MG there was a romantic interest the I really wanted to go more into depth (once a series starts MG must it continue that way? Could it evolve into YA?) and they were honestly great together, learning each others strengths and weaknesses but not giving up when the going got tough.
And Reveka USED HER BRAIN! Grr, it frustrates me so much when the protagonist can't seem to do a single thing for themselves and must be taken care of every step of the way (not naming names but there are quite a few out there) but Reveka was truly a breath of fresh air, spunky, kind, determined, had a plan, was willing to take risks...honestly, I could go on and on.
This really was a fantastic book......*please Ms. Haskell, can it be a series?* I even ended up buying two copies of the book. I wanted it so bad I got it for my kindle app and when I finished reading it I literally gasped because I hand't known the end was coming up! (you know how you can tell with a physical book that the end is coming? Not so easy on the kindle app!) And then I wanted it for my own library and to be able to share it with the other readers in my family so bought the hard copy and they enjoyed it as well.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It has just the right blend of fantasy, humor, a lovable and spunky heroine and even a dash of romance. Really, really fantastic!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reader thoughts: This was a fun book! It never dragged, and there were a few times where I felt sucked into the book, but it wasn't phenomenal. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Denae C
I borrowed this book from our library and I am so glad I did. I loved it! It was not just another retelling of Beauty and the Beast and the 12 Dancing Princesses. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lizzy Vicky and Elly Bears Mama
I was talking to a friend about Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, and was trying to remember the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
Engrossing story! And a very interesting twist on The Twelve Dancing Princesses, crossed with a bit of Greek & Roman Mythology. Very vivid and the heroine is great. Read morePublished 13 months ago by blessed bookworm
I love the Merrie Haskell books because even though they are written for young people the plot is timeless and the stories so well written any age could enjoy themPublished 14 months ago by diann p. marshall
I love stories that are remakes of fairytales. This one was supremely well done. I hope the author rewrites other fairytales.Published 16 months ago by Kindle Customer
A wonderful book. More a 'beauty and the beast' type story, I do hope the author will continue the story so we find out what happens.Published 20 months ago by Carole L. Eggum
I love retelling of fairytales. This one pulled me not exactly following a set fairytale. But it deals with a curse of twelve dancing princesses and a smidge of Beauty and the... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer