by Catherine Murdock
# of pages: 352
age range: 12-15
Benevolence is not your typical princess.With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle’s highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts: mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle pantries, setting her hair on fire . . . But Ben’s private adventures are soon overwhelmed by a mortal threat to her kingdom. Can Ben save the country and herself from foul tyranny?
Okay, I'm going to try and be brief because I now know that most people like to "get to the point" on most things, so my rambling on and on can probably get a tad bit annoying to sat the least. Alright, I shall begin!
Princess Ben is split up into four parts. The first part revolves around Ben's life after her mother's and uncle's death, and the mystery of her missing father, and how she is stuck at the castle under the claws of her aunt, Regent Queen Sophia. Readers watch Ben spiral into anger and dismay, until she finds the magical room that begins part two.
Part two is all about how Ben discovers her magic, a trait found in all the Royal Montage bloodline. As Ben explores her powers and uncovers the real truth about the castle, she slowly starts to put back pieces of herself that had fallen astray after the tragedy.
Part three takes place after the Ball, and readers will see Ben in a completely new setting and a completely different lifestyle. I would say more but I don't want to give it away. Part four is how Ben matures and discovers herself, saves her kingdom, and finds true love.
Princess Ben was a breath of fresh air after reading so many vampire and bad fantasy novels, here is true gorgeous writing, an original plot, with real fantasy from times where people read - dare I say it - for pleasure! Though most of you reading this post probably enjoy reading to some extent, let's face it, with all the technology now a day's, reading is simply a chore to most, not a pleasure.
Anyways, Princess Ben was great! The plot development was completely evident and commendable, the characters were original, and to my surprise, almost all of the "classic" fairy tails were woven into this book. I read references of Rapunzel, sleeping beauty, snow white, Cinderella. It's quite noticeable if you look for it.
So much for brief, oh well. If you liked Princess Ben be sure to check out:
Ever: Gail Carson Levine
Fairsest: Gail Carson Levine
A Posse of Princesses': Sherwood Smith
Graceling: Kristin Cashore
Nobody's Prize: Esther Friesner
The Swan Kingsom: Zoe Marriot
You can buy Princess Ben here or just read some other reviews. (The cover is really pretty!)
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