Mara's Reviews > Violet Eyes: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguié
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's review
Dec 20, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: books-to-buy, fairytale-retelling
read count: 1

Cons first: I was not impressed with the writing style too much; it felt a little too step-by-step, too explanatory (i.e. characters constantly explain why they are doing something, as if the Reader could not figure it out themselves), and even a little juvenile (there are other names for animals beyond Bessie and Duke). Richard is a pretty typical prince when it comes to looks, which made me feel rather disappointed. When I read a fairy-tale retelling, I don't want to encounter a Disney-drawn Prince Charming.

However, the writing does seem to improve as time goes on, and if I am mistaken in that fact, it is because the storyline becomes so engaging that I could easily ignore the style. Yes, the ending is predictable, but the Author plays on the "pea" aspect of the story in an interesting way, and presents a far more pleasing, and logical, fairy-tale than the original. While Richard is all handsomeness in a way only a fairy-tale prince can be, his personality is not as cardboard, though I confess out of all the princes in this book series, Richard was the least memorable.

The Author also seems to have a bit of a hard time deciding whether or not Richard's parents are good, decent people or "everything for the kingdom" types. They set up this contest to determine who will marry their son, regardless of his opinion, and always talk about royal marriage being for the kingdom, and not love. And yet, at the same time, the king and queen - the queen especially - come across as very decent, caring parents at times, and I have a hard time believing that such parents wouldn't at least feel grieved over the fact that their son cannot marry for love. It also seems that Richard doesn't know his parents very well at all (which would not be unusual, but considering how caring his parents seem, I think their relationship would be different).

Despite my complaints, "Violet Eyes" was an intriguing new look at "The Princess and the Pea," and I think it well worth reading.

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