J's Reviews > Princess Ben

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Aug 12, 10

bookshelves: high-school-fiction, fantasy, romance

Gotta love a fairy tale, and this is a re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty story. Ben is a spoiled princess who has to grow up in a hurry when her mother is slaughtered and her father goes missing and is presumed dead. Her overly strict aunt is in charge of the kingdom, and she feels she must mold Ben, forcefully, into a perfect princess. Ben rebels, naturally, and her aunt keeps her locked in a tower until she comes to her senses. There she discovers a book of magic spells and finds she is pretty good at witchcraft, complete with riding a broomstick. Ben's kingdom is in a precarious political situation, so her aunt decides to find her a suitor, preferably one who will strengthen her kingdom. There are lots of fairy tale elements in this book -- talking mirrors, dragons, knights, etc. -- but updated with a heroine who learns to think for herself. There's quite a lot of time spent on her body image (Ben is pudgy), something you never would have seen in a standard fairy tale. I listened to this one, but even though the author read it herself (something I normally enjoy) Murdock is too stiff and her diction too precise to make this a fun listen.
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