A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Misunderstandings and naughty behavior occur, but those involved eventually realize the error of their ways. The characters experience substantial growth and evolution.
Violence & Scariness
Historical violence with swordfights and the death of three people. An adult whacks a teen's hands with a rod. A person is kicked and yelled at while imprisoned.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A girl searches for suitable suitors, two teens kiss, and two weddings occur.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People drink wine, as was common in the novel's setting.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is romance and some historical violence in this novel. More importantly the novel deals with body image, societal pressures, magic, and parental death. None of the violence is graphic and the author approaches parental death with sensitivity.
Is It Any Good?
Catherine Murdock joins the ranks of writers who seek to reinvent the fairytale genre with wit, fun, and a dash of feminism. Indeed, Princess Ben is a real girl's princess; she sulks, gets angry, has no time for the foolishness of Queen Sophia's "lessons," and is far from the willowy thin princesses of other stories (the girl likes her treacle tart). She holds her own destiny in her hands, and her evolution from sheltered, indulged child to selfless, proactive ruler gives this tale a modern edge.
Beyond the fantastic heroine, there are so many adventures, surprises, and plot twists that readers won't be able to put the book down. If they can get past the sometimes overly flowery language, readers and parents alike will love Ben's story.
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