The Princess Games
Author: Danai Kadzere
Published July 27th, 2015 by Lands Atlantic Publishing
Summary: King Winkle and Queen Periwinkle have a problem. They need a princess, and they need her fast. With the upcoming peace-keeping marriage between Prince Linus of Branninia and the princess of the fair Kingdom of Hoggenbottom, it’s a bit risky to admit they don’t have a princess.
Instead, they decide to host The Princess Games. Soon enough, the fairest maidens of the land are gathered in front of the castle, fairy-godmothers in tow! With a goofy king, an obsessive compulsive advisor, and a fairy godmother whose spells do whatever they want, these games are about to get interesting.
Even if Emma and her clumsy Fairy Louise can manage to do well in the competition, she’ll have to get past the expert spells of Fairy Faye and the beauty of Laralyn, who is intent on pleasing her ambitious mother at any cost.
My Review: What a fun fractured fairy tale! I love the humor! It really does include some laugh-out-loud moments. The book actually reminds me a bit of Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, but The Princess Games is more light-hearted.
I think what makes this book work the best is the different voices throughout. Each chapter changes point of view which gives a different insight to the games as they are going on. This helps with characterization especially because each character has such a distinctive voice.
One of my only criticisms is that I actually wish it was a bit longer! I would have loved to have some of the scenes be longer than they were and to have really gotten to know some of the secondary characters.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I think this book is a wonderful example of voice. I would have students look at chapters written from different character’s points of view and have them look for how the author crafted their sections to build the character’s voice. When you look, you can find different vocabulary choices, different sentence patterns, different focuses, and different sense of humor.
Discussion Questions: Which princess do you think the royal couple will choose?; Why does Faye and Laralyn not like Emma and Louise?; How would the tone and voice have been different if the book had been written in first person?; What is the theme of the novel?
We Flagged: “Emma rued that last scone, stuffed with clotted cream and spiced rosehip jam, as the carriage bumped aong the uneven country road. ‘Ohhhhh,’ she groaned, clutching her stomach.
Fairy Faye looked at Laralyn, deigning to acknowledge Emma only to say, ‘And that, Laralyn, is why princesses eat daintily. Particularly on long journeys.'” (p. 45)
Read This If You Loved: Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, The League of Princes series by Christopher Healy, Upon a Marigold series by Jean Ferris
**Thank you to Danai for providing a copy for review!!**