Brandy Painter's Reviews > The Thirteenth Princess

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
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's review
Oct 16, 2010

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bookshelves: fairy-tale-retellings, fantasy, middle-grade
Read from October 16 to 17, 2010

Review originally posted here

The Thirteenth Princess reads with the charm and magic of the original fairy tale. All of the original components are here, including the lowly soldier who finally breaks the spell. The twist in this tale of the added princess gives the story a little more hint of desperation. If Zita loses her sisters she will have no family to speak of. There are a couple of other twists in the tale that make it different enough from the original while still maintaining the well known and loved story. For an afternoon of light reading it was highly enjoyable.

This book is perfect for the audience of middle grade girls it is intended for. The story and romance is probably a little sweet and tame to appeal to older teens, although some in that age group might enjoy it. Zita is 12 through most of the story and spends a great deal of time wondering what it would be like to be kissed, blushing when thinking of romance with a particular boy and longing for closeness of that kind. There is a good deal of romantic discussion going on. Allusions are made to the king's dalliances prior to his marriage and to the goings on between maids and footmen which lead to dismissals. Conversations are had about kissing boys. In one of these conversations with some maids one says, "A smart girl knows to stop at kissing." All of that is to say anyone with a precocious young reader might want to be wary of putting this book in their hands. My six year old could read this but

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