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A Princess of Roumania (Princess of Roumania, #1)
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A Princess of Roumania (Princess of Roumania #1)

2.81 of 5 stars 2.81  ·  rating details  ·  526 ratings  ·  92 reviews
This is a truly magical tale, full of strangeness, terrors and wonders. Many girls daydream that they are really a princess adopted by commoners. In the case of teenager Miranda Popescu, this is literally true. Because she is at the fulcrum of a deadly political battle between conjurers in an alternate world where "Roumania" is a leading European power, Miranda was hidden ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Tor Fantasy (first published August 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,062)
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Cristin
I was desperate for a book...My desperation lead me to this dreadful chunk.

The first five pages were actually interesting. There was a whisper of promise that mocked me...and then this book became a train wreck. There were no survivors.

reed
Ok, I'm going to try not to rave too much about this book, but it's SO GOOD! It sounds like it's going to be standard issue fantasy -- an adopted girl in a small town starts having weird stuff happen around her and discovers that she is a princess who is destined to fight evil in a magic world.

But everyone in this book acts like a real person, not a fantasy trope. The 'evil' characters don't think they're evil. The heroine is more concerned with her relationship with her parents than fulfilling
...more
Michael
Although I can see why this book has such a low rating, it certainly doesn't deserve it. If I came into it with a lot of expectations (since the publishers marketed it as though it were some kind of romantic YA fantasy), I'd rate it low too. It's basically a 400+-page prelude to the next book. Half of the narrative doesn't involve the main characters. The pace is positively glacial. However, the premise and the world of the novel (an alternate Romania) are both really fascinating and they kept t ...more
Shannon
I actually did not finish this book. I stopped at page 243. I no longer cared enough to spend any more time reading it when I have so many other books to try or great ones to reread. I would give it one star, but I actually would like to know what happens in the end. I just don't want to have to do the work to get there.
Flourish
Don't be fooled by the title. This isn't about vampires, and it isn't about princesses, at least not in the fairy tale sense.

A Princess of Roumania was a fascinating, wonderful read. It reminds me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones, but it doesn't have the same sense of rushing towards an ending where everything will almost-but-not-quite make sense, that you have to reread three or four times. (DWJ fans will know what I'm talking about.) It starts off seeming to be a standard cross-world fantasy, but th
...more
Amanda
this series is actually very good, it's not some romance type fantasy filled with teenage angst. I really hate that genre(sorry, romance lovers) I don't think he should have named the first book this though, because that's what i thought it was from the title and the cover pic. Honestly, I think it got such low reviews on here because many of the people who picked it up to read thought they were picking up a romance/fantasy and it is in now way that. It is definitely not a princessy (like the ti ...more
Sabine
Mar 29, 2008 Sabine rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sabine by: Orson Scott Card's review page
First let me be clear that my rating books has changed since I first joined good reads. It is now only those books that I would read again and again or how a powerful impact in my life that will get five stars. 3 is a book I liked, but probably not read again. This book falls somewhere between a two and a three. There were parts of it that I loved. When it comes to the imagination of the author I was truly blown away but his inventiveness and story ideas. But by the time I had 100 pages left I f ...more
Donna
The basic idea for this book is a good one. A regular girl is drawn into an alternate world, and learns that she is a princess and that our world was an elaborate fiction created to hide her. The setting is fantastic, an alternate reality with a drastically different political situation, less technological advancement, and an inexplicable magical system.

It starts out painfully slow, and there are plenty of other parts where the pacing feels off. The concept of the book is "girl gets transported
...more
Myridian
This is a coming of age story about a young woman who discovers that, in addition to being an orphan, she is also from another dimension. In fact the most interesting quirk of the novel is the way that Park makes our world the one that isn't real (very Matrixesque). He also spends a significant portion of the book inside the heads of the "villains," increasing our sympathy for them and changing the feel of the conflict between them and our heroine and her friends. Despite all the accolades that ...more
Woodge
This is the first book in a new trilogy and the title character is a young woman named Miranda Popescu, a girl in her teens living in western Massachusetts. But all that's about to change as she soon learns that she's a princess from an alternate world where Roumania is one of Europe's power players in the 19th century. She and two of her friends find themselves back in this world and somewhat changed in the process. There's political intrigue and interesting characters doing weird things. There ...more
Debbie
Apr 14, 2007 Debbie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like melodramatic, purple prose.
Shelves: 2006, fantasy, dead-tree
It took me a while to get into this book. I had received a free advance copy of the mass market copy of this book at a SF convention and with a lack of anything to do during some downtime, started reading. Honestly, the only reason I finished the first one hundred pages was because someone I knew was really enjoying it. After the hundred-page mark, the story picked up and I didn't tend notice the somewhat verbose writing style as much. I don't think I'll pick up the sequel, though. This book is ...more
Steve
I'm mystified by all of the low ratings on this one. One of the better fantasy books I've read in some time. In fact, the first 3 of the series are quite good. Why Park extended this to 4 books is beyond me. The final book really didn't work for me, which kind of sucks after you invested time in the series. I think Park rushed these books, and should of given each of them the layering and care that I found in the first book (and arguably the first 3). It could of been one of the great fantasy se ...more
sarah t
I could barely make myself finish this book. It was a gift from my pop, who bought it based on a newspaper review suggesting that this book was like Harry Potter. Yikes. It was not like Harry Potter - it was not easy to read, or funny, or good, or anthing. It was confusing - I felt like whole chapters must have been missing because I couldn't always follow the plot. Or else maybe I was such a sloppy reader that I really missed whole major sequences. I'm not sure, but man, don't read this.
Moira
Good premise for the story - I love a good alternate universe! Unfortunately, the book was very hard to follow and I couldn't care less about any of the characters. I didn't bother reading the other books in the series. Maybe I'm too old to be reading about disaffected teenagers........
Leigh
Hard to get into. Too many characters with too little invested in them, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was working for whom. It's an intriguing idea, but tries to hard to be highbrow and fails at making itself understandable enough to be enjoyable.
Terry
About 120 pages into this book, the plot is still not very compelling and the characters are still fuzzy. After 163 pages I gave up, deciding that I have too many enticing books on my to-be-read shelf to waste my time with characters I don't like.
Marie desJardins
I made it almost halfway through before I gave up. By page 150, I still understood almost nothing about what was going on -- but more problematically, I seriously didn't care. Miranda, the main character, is neither likable, insightful, kind, or heroic. She's downright thoughtless and rude to her two best friends. Who cares if she is a princess? She's just a spoiled brat, and not a particularly intelligent one at that. I thought maybe when she broke through into the other world, some sort of enl ...more
Jenn
I read this book and also got 1/2 through the next one. I cannot for the life of me tell you what was really going on. I remember and understood bits and pieces and from those, I liked the premise. The plot was just too confusing to really get a sense of what everyone was doing and what their motives were.

The story is about a girl who was sent to another dimension to be raised because she was the daughter of royalty that was supposedly killed. Her dimension is one where Roumania is basically al
...more
Paula
Another bookswapping experience, if I recall correctly, this one the first in a series of four books.

The basic premise of A Princess of Roumania is that beloved by many books for teens - our protagonist Miranda Popescu, herself a teenager, is not what she seems and is instead really royalty from elsewhere. In addition to this, her two closest friends are not really just her friends but loyal subjects sent to protect her.

So far so good, except I found the prose incredibly hard to get into and th
...more
Sam Kabo Ashwell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in April 2007.

One author who is mentioned several times in the quotations printed on the back of A Princess of Roumania is Philip Pullman. Now, anyone who has read my reviews of the His Dark Materials trilogy will know that Pullman is an author I think massively overrated, and so I found this somewhat off-putting. The praise I had read for A Princess of Roumania in the end persuaded me to give it a try, and I am glad that I did. While I can understand the com
...more
Janet
Unfortunately, this book met my low expectations for stories involving ordinary (or supposedly ordinary) people suddenly finding themselves in another world. I was also disappointed by how uninteresting I found the lead character and most of the people around her.

When title character Miranda finds herself in the alternate world where she is a fugitive princess, she displays neither fear nor wonder. People are trying to kidnap or kill her, but she seems to feel little more anxiety than she did du
...more
Melanti
Technically, I didn't actually finish this book. I managed to make it to about page 320/370 before realizing that while my eyes had moved over the last few pages, I had no idea what was really in them, nor did I have much of a desire to find out. So, I admitted defeat and just skimmed the rest of the book, reading just those bits that looked interesting. And there was just a couple of those.

There are some interesting components to the book. (view spoiler)
...more
Kate
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roslyn
I had high hopes for this one, but I found it rather disappointing. The idea on which it is based is brilliant but the prose and pacing let it down. Between 2 and 3 stars.

Revised review: I just found some notes I wrote back in 2006 on this one! Here is what I wrote then:

Based on reviews I'd read and everything else about it, I was sure I'd love this book. And I'm still naïve
enough to believe that a book that has rave comments on the blurb by Ursula le Guin, Karen Joy Fowler and John Crowley must
...more
Kristina
May 05, 2015 Kristina marked it as couldnt-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clay
Paul Park's 'A Princess of Roumania' (Tor, $24.95, 368 pages) is an unusual fantasy, as one would expect from his previous works 'Soldiers of Paradies' and 'Sugar Rain.' The premise comes from a short poem by Dorothy Parker that ends with the line 'and I am Marie of Roumania' -- and Park imagines what it would mean for a teenage girl to discover she is indeed a Roumanian princess, with all that the extra vowel implies.

The result is a precisely written tale of magic, murder, evil and loyalty tha
...more
Bookmarks Magazine

"The world is in two places," says Miranda's The Essential History. "One false and one real." You guessed it: we're in the fake one. In his first of a planned series, Park borrows the idea of alternate worlds from J. K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, and even L. Frank Baum__a trick tried and true. Not surprisingly, certain complications thwart Miranda's attempt to claim her rightful place in the "real" world. Despite Park's generic theme, he draws complex characters (even as Miranda's friends transfor

...more
Erik
This is an odd book and an odd read. Like many of the reviewers, I wasn't sure if I was enjoying it-- until I suddenly realized that I was physically on the edge my seat, and I'd devoured a hundred pages without noticing.

The writing style has a dream-like quality, in that what's described first are impressions from the POV of whichever character is foremost. This can sometimes be a little confusing as each character knows more or less than the next, and their impressions contradict each other.
...more
Jeremy
This was straightforward escapist literature. The characterization and descriptions were all wonderful, but I couldn't help feeling that somehow this story failed. Perhaps simply because the protagonist, finding herself torn from everything she knew and thrown into a dangerous world where people are trying to kill her or use her to save a country, isn't all that torn up about it. The antagonists and supporting characters seem to have a greater depth of feeling than the main character. Makes it k ...more
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Endicott Mythic F...: A Princess of Roumania - discussion 11 20 Aug 23, 2012 10:29AM  
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Paul Park (born 1954) is an American science fiction author and fantasy author. He lives in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children. He also teaches a Reading and Writing Science Fiction course at Williams College. He has also taught several times at the Clarion West Writing Workshop.

Park appeared on the American science fiction scene in 1987 and quickly established himself
...more
More about Paul Park...

Other Books in the Series

Princess of Roumania (4 books)
  • The Tourmaline (Princess of Roumania, #2)
  • The White Tyger (Princess of Roumania, #3)
  • The Hidden World (Princess of Roumania, #4)
The Tourmaline (Princess of Roumania, #2) The White Tyger (Princess of Roumania, #3) Soldiers of Paradise (The Starbridge Chronicles, #1) The Hidden World (Princess of Roumania, #4) Celestis

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