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Charming Academy #1

Charming Academy

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Growing up is hard enough for anyone, but for a boy destined to be the Prince Charming of a fairy tale it's an absolute nightmare. Attending Charming Academy you not only deal with the normal aspects of youth, but there are sarcastic dragons, vindictive witches and your princess hates you. Will Lucian survive school and become the prince his parents believe him to be? Join him and his friends as they learn the art of being a Prince Charming.

416 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 2011

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About the author

Jessica L. Elliott

48 books56 followers
For as long as she can remember, Jessica L. Elliott has been telling stories. As soon as she could grasp a pencil she began writing those stories down. Reading fueled her imagination, as did spending time with her five younger brothers and sisters. Everything was an adventure, something to be treasured and stories were her first love. Jessica began seriously writing in high school and continued into college while attending Emporia State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She wrote and released her first novel, Charming Academy, in August of 2011. Jessica currently lives in southwest Kansas with her husband and family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Kristen Kooistra.
Author 1 book99 followers
February 7, 2017
Charming Academy was an enjoyable with a few ups and downs, but overall it left me with a good feeling and I’ve already added the rest of the series to my reading list.

This is a large book that takes on the challenge of writing a story in a fantasy school setting. A popular setup to be sure, but Charming Academy has a whole different take than other fantasy school stories.

When you realize that the 500 pages holds 6 years of Charming school, the size becomes “small.” While most authors choose to have one book per year, Charming Academy sticks them all in one book and it works. I think the choice was a smart one because really there wouldn’t be enough to stick each year in a 200-300 page book.

There’s no big bad, ultimate challenge, or “huge event” that is faced each year, and I think that’s what allows series like Harry Potter to play out like they do. Charming Academy is almost like setting the stage. You meet the cast of characters, you see what they face, what their lives are like, and where they’re headed. In short, you grow attached to them. You want to see the next page in the story, which is what the rest of the series is.

There are 5 books that follow Charming Academy where 1 or 2 of the kids from school have now graduated and it’s time to complete their quest. While those focus on their individual quests, book 1 shows what led them to that point.

I really wish I’d taken notes, but I didn’t fully appreciate the scope of the story when I started. So here goes, a probably rambling list of pros and cons while using “Prince” or “Princess” to mean any of the princes/princesses to be as spoiler-light as can be(when I can’t help but say something that might be considered a spoiler).

This book could’ve used another proofreading pass. There was about 3-4 typos(not bad for a book this size), but there was enough punctuation errors(such as missed commas that made sentences read funny, incorrectly punctuated dialogue, and misused punctuation such as stutters being written as “I, I meant” instead of “I-I meant”) where it wouldn’t have hurt to have someone hit all of those.

Head hopping. Good gravy but the head hopping was probably the most extreme I’ve ever seen. Though I do appreciate wanting to know what everyone is thinking, to suddenly leave a pov to be placed in another one the next paragraph and then revert back could get really confusing. After awhile I got a little used to it, but even at the end I would still get confused and have to go back to see which pov I was in and if I’d missed something. Lucian was the main character, but we got dashes of just about every other character’s pov which isn’t bad when it’s given a clear transition but it rarely had one and sometimes the pov shift only lasted a couple short paragraphs.

Scene breaks. There were several times that this book could’ve benefited from scene breaks and they’re so easy to add. It’d help with the pov switches, but there’d also be large time jumps that’d go something like this:
“Lucian ran inside, eager to make the most of his last few weeks of vacation.”

“School was back in session and Lucian was already missing home.”

A total time jump that could be so jarring. A scene break to show when those happened would’ve done wonders.

Everything above is all technical issues and I mention them because everyone has a different tolerance for them.

The last con is about a story point. I struggled with the whole matchmaking idea. Only the special chosen ones are allowed into the two schools(boy and girl). The staff is then in charge of pairing them together and whoever they choose you’re then stuck with. Not only is it the most unromantic thing ever(here’s the person you’ll quest for after graduation, and then when you find them you’ll marry them), but it also felt really messed up.

Despite Lucian’s father and mother breaking with the above tradition, they still put so much stock in it that they send both of their kids to these schools and the dad(Lysander) has a low opinion of himself(gravely so) because he wasn’t a “deserving prince” for the mom.

It allows absolutely no wiggle room for personal preferences or choice. You see your princess twice during the school year and you have to spend time with her, and you will have to quest for her, and you will have to marry her.

One prince has a princess who’s just . . . hostile. Now that ends up having a lesson ingrained into it, but it could’ve gone so many ways. There’s a prince who hits his princess and is then expelled, but what if he hadn’t hit her? He’d already shown he was a complete jerk and yet she still would’ve been stuck with him.

There’s two parents who graduated from the school and the queen is a completely horrible person. What did her poor husband do to deserve her?

One prince decides that it’s not right for all of the princesses(who are zapped away and into a quest where they’re stuck until rescued) whose princes never came for them to be stuck for the rest of their lives. It becomes his mission to save as many of the “lost” princesses as possible. And he has very little to go on because of course the staff has no idea where they princesses are and no way to find them.

The whole system seems shaky and unhealthy. So many ways this whole “we choose your true love and you have no say” bit could go wrong.

Okay, so there’s the cons(long book, so trying to condense).


Concept: Very cool concept in a lot of ways. A fantasy school setting for princes and princesses. Each person has a schedule that will help them accomplish their quest. So like if you’re going to get a Cinderella story you’ll probably have classes in animal languages, cleaning, dancing, kindness, patience, and singing(for the girls). And the men will have classes that’ll help them beat whatever stands in their way to finding to that princess.

Characters: There’s new characters slowly drip fed to the story so that it’s easy to keep track of them. I’m not sure naming three of the main ones “Lucian, Adrian, and Kaelan” was the best idea(it took me over half the novel to keep Lucian and Adrian straight), but I really did enjoy them. The characters I’m meant to despise, I do. They were just so gosh darn nasty! And the ones I was supposed to like, I did.

They were unique, they had faults and strengths. They grew from their mistakes or let those mistakes pull them down. There’s some important lessons they learn about being kind, forgiving, and how pain underneath can affect how people act on the surface.

Story: This book didn’t need any ultimate evil or big mission. Just reading about how the characters got through their school years, and how they deal with their low and high points, was really interesting. There’s moments of sadness, and moments where someone really shines out in a good way and made me want to cheer.

I loved that the witches and fairies worked together. The witches being in charge of punishment and rotating personalities/jobs/appearances were really neat ideas, ones I’ve never seen before.

Overall, I’m really attached to the story and I REALLY want to know how everyone’s quest goes. I’m most interested in George’s story since I could relate to his quest. It’s the quest I’d go for anyway. There was some writing level things that could’ve taken this up a level, and I really would’ve liked some good defiance from someone that the system was broke and needed fixing(though that probably would’ve eliminated the story, so I understand why it’s there). But none of that kept me from enjoying the book, or wanting to read the rest of the series.

It was a unique series start and a genius idea to do it in this way.
Profile Image for Kimberly A..
Author 48 books33 followers
July 23, 2016
I first picked up this book in October of last year. Since then, I have read it four or five more times but it’s taken until now for me to sit and write a review instead of just continuing on with devouring the rest of the series. I originally thought this would be a children’s book that might or might not hold my attention. However, this book absolutely surprised me in the best of ways.

Plot – A-

Prince Charming Academy is the first of a fairytales retold series. However, this book is not like most retellings. This is the story of how Prince Charming is prepared to save his princess. While it does not get to the actual retellings, the book retains the fairytale atmosphere. Lucian is the primary character and is destined to be Sleeping Beauty’s prince; however, we also meet the princesses and the other princes, each destined for his own fairytale. I loved the way the princes’ journeys are fleshed out. Prince Charming Academy covers the six years of the princes’ training at Charming Academy (a bit like the Harry Potter format for Hogwarts) but there are also numerous side plots especially as the princes get older and the seeds of their individual stories are planted. The book is 500 pages long yet the plot carries itself well and rarely, if ever, feels as though it’s plodding. In fact, it was a jolt when I reached the end of the book and suddenly we’re back with the babysitter telling the story to the boy. I was so caught up in the story that I had forgotten it was technically a story within a story.

Content – A

In the course of expanding the realm of fairytales and creating realistic characters, Elliot includes many of the same things we face in the real world. There is violence and death, which is to be expected for princes training to fight dragons among other perils, but this primarily occurs off-screen so we mainly see the aftermath. One exception that stands out is when a particularly brutish prince strikes his princess. However, this incident is skillfully used to demonstrate how unacceptable that sort of behavior is and can provide a talking point for parents about how boys and girls should treat each other. There are also two death scenes that have reduced me to tears each time I read this book. They aren’t graphic but they are heartbreakingly poignant (and I still haven’t forgiven her for these deaths).

The kiss of true love is important to most fairytales and Elliot incorporates that wonderfully into her book. As the princes and princesses are paired with each other from the beginning, they are intended to grow as friends and then in love. It takes a while for the hormones to kick in but there are times when Lucian is highly tempted to do more than kiss Moira’s hand. However, the first kiss is so important to breaking enchantments that he resists the temptation. It’s cute watching Lucian and Moira in particular grow from definitely not liking each other (though for Lucian it’s a bit more of “she’s a girl” little boy mentality) to being very definitely in love. Moira is a challenging princess to say the least and part of Lucian’s appeal is that he is determined to be kind to her and to love her even when she tries to reject his love and the idea of loving him in return. Other than the hand-kissing and some kissing between already married adults, this is a squeaky clean story on the romance side.

Because this is a fairytale world, there are fairies and witches. The witches are interesting because they are used for discipline (believe me, these are teenagers who definitely earn their punishments) so spells are cast for punishment and once for a blessing. It fits into the fairytale setting and there is no mention of a spiritual connotation for the fairies or witches. I mentioned the teen factor because you do have characters being rude and even bullies, but there are always consequences. In a story about boys growing into men and being groomed to be worthy of the title ‘Prince Charming’, I appreciated the constant reminder that choices have consequences. Elliot skillfully made this clear in three different situations in particular, but I shan’t say more for fear of spoilers.

Technical – B+

Prince Charming Academy is an extremely engaging read. As I mentioned before, the prologue and epilogue are set in modern times where a babysitter is telling the story to a little boy but the main story itself is so engaging that I completely forgot about this so the epilogue was a bit of a jolt. The flow rarely slows down. In fact, there were a few times where I wished we had a bit more detail and less of the sweeping summary regarding the later school years but it never detracts from the story mood.

However, there is quite a bit of head hopping in this story even though Lucian is the primary narrator. It can be a little distracting at times when we slip so quickly into different heads, but I found that this bothered me less during subsequent readings since I knew to expect it. It’s more of an omniscient third person POV storytelling style in this respect.

There is a smattering of typos throughout the book (perhaps five or six in the whole book), but it’s nothing that detracts from the story. The language is also pretty modern for a story set in the medieval setting of the fairytale world, but it doesn’t grate like one might expect. I was drawn into the story enough that the more modern language barely registered. The one technical aspect that truly bugged me in this book is the formatting of letters. The letters bounce from being the same size as the rest of the text to a huge font to being smaller than main text. There are enough letters present that I wished a single format was used across the board for them. Out of everything, it bothered me the most and what I would call a true distraction especially when it jumps to the huge font.

Final Grade – A- or 4.5 Stars

If you’re looking for a fairytale retelling that breaks the typical mold, this book is for you. This is the story of Prince Charming more than the princess. It is perfect for anyone who has ever wanted the more detailed plots that will turn Prince Charming into more than the guy on the white horse. This charming read is meant for ages 10-18 but is well-written and engaging to the point that I highly recommend it for adults too. I recommend this book for fans of clean fairytale retellings and for parents seeking fun books that they can read with their children.
Profile Image for Abi.
1,965 reviews
July 21, 2017
I really enjoyed this book. I liked how it had all six years, and I felt like that made the story a lot more interesting. Lucian was awesome, and Kaelan, Adrian, Moira, and Allegra were cool too. George is my second favorite, and I look forward to reading the book dedicated to his quest. Overall, I spotted very few typos and errors, and the plot and characters were good. Charming Academy kept my interest, and I will definitely read the books about the quests.
Profile Image for Denae Christine.
Author 4 books163 followers
May 28, 2017
Reader thoughts: I liked the idea of boarding schools for future princes and princesses before they go on quests (aka, get stuck in fairy tales). Some of the classes were good ideas (amphibian studies for the prince slowly turning to a frog, dragon fighting, etiquette, etc). The whole set up requires some suspension of disbelief (princesses transported to dangerous places, possibly to never be rescued, princes and princesses fated to be together from day 1), but it fit the whole fairy tale theme.

Characters were generally nice to each other (and they were punished by the schools' resident witches if not). There was an overall "cute" quality to the book that was pleasant.

I did not like the writing style or plotting or pov or that most characters sounded exactly the same. I shall explain.

There were many, many typos. Most of those were missing commas. Two independent clauses separated by a conjunction need a comma. When addressing a character in dialogue, a comma should separate the name from the rest of the sentence. This sloppiness was distracting.

Most scenes didn't have much description of the setting. It was the "white room" problem, except worse. I didn't always know if a scene was inside or outside, and characters would start speaking before the reader knew they were present. (See location 4856. It says, "Lucian complained one evening." George and Jacobi and Adrian speak, and "the boys continued to chat until they agreed they'd best get their homework done. Lucian said he was going to his room." So, where were they, and what were they doing?)

Almost every scene did only one thing. This made subplot elements feel choppy because they weren't integrated into the rest of the story. The characters had a problem, talked about it, got it resolved, and moved on. Then the next problem would happen.

A big pet peeve of mine is pov head hopping. Few authors can pull it off well (John Flanagan can). it didn't work in this book. It only served to distance me from characters I already struggled to connect to. Not only is there no one main character (Adrian, Lucian, and Kaelen get equal screen time), but now there are dozens of side characters' heads the reader sees inside.

Something I really liked was the way the teachers did feedback. Every student got a one-on-one meeting at the end of the semester to say what they do well and need to work on. The parents went. I thought, at first, that this replaced the grades (cool!), but it didn't (oh, well).

Here are some specific instances in the book that I thought were poorly done.

Kaelan as a girl
One boy attacks another without provocation. His punishment? To be turned into a girl. "Attacking without warning shows both hatefulness and cowardice. Neither is the trait of a gentleman. So, perhaps spending a few weeks as a girl will teach you to appreciate your place." Um, because cowardice is a girly trait? What? How does this punishment make sense? There was more.

Later, his dog doesn't listen to him. Another boy says, "You're a girl, Kaelen. Girls play with dogs, they don't work with them." (sic) My sister is a girl, btw. She trained guide dogs. That seems like work to me.

Later, Kaelen says, "A young lady is supposed to always be cheerful." Really? He's been a girl for two weeks, and this is his insight?

Yay, the young prince charmings wrote letters! They wrote them to their families and their matched fair damsels!

The problem was, the letters were not formatted. The letters' fonts were exactly the same as the rest of the text, and the paragraph type was exactly the same. The only difference was that sometimes the font would be a different size. So, I'd be reading along, and then suddenly there's a single name as a paragraph. Oh, it's the start of a letter. That felt unclear.

The injuries were not well described, and they weren't treated seriously. Lucian got a "sting" in his arm and a "gash" on his wrist. Then he falls to the floor and passes out. I guess it's bleeding heavily? A little later, he's in a wheelchair, still unconscious, and the instructor is explaining to the rest of the class that he won't be able to write or swordfight for a few weeks. Why did they wheel him back to class?? He's unconscious! He should be in the hospital ward, not being wheeled around for the other boys to gawk at!

The castle
None of the settings were well described. I have a hard time picturing any of the places where the boys were. Here's what I know of the castle, though.

The boys got locked out of the front gate because another boy locked it. They pound on it, but no one can hear them. It's raining. One boy runs around the castle from "window to window, hoping someone would see him. Finally he reached the fencing room where Raphael was conducting class. He started waving his arms, desperately hoping the fairy would turn and see him. He could see older boys pointing at him and then to his relief, Raphael turned. The window opened and Raphael demanded, 'What on earth are you doing?'" (sic, yes, it was all one paragraph, and, yes, those commas are missing)

So, there are windows on the first floor of the castle (how this was a good idea to the castle's builders, I don't know). And those windows open. Maybe this castle was never meant for defense? If so, wouldn't there be another, unlocked entrance the boys could use? Are there no guards posted at all? What's the point in calling this a castle, then?

This is related to the problems I had with the time period. I am willing to give a lot of leeway since it is a made up world with magic and fairy tales and fairies and witches and dragons . . . but this just made me roll my eyes. The boys learned to garden with seed packets. The name of the seeds was on the seed packet, and there were instructions for how to grow the seeds on the back of the seed packet. This doesn't fit a medieval setting, not when everything else is horse riding, castles, carriages, inns, swords, and taverns. Oh, but someone mentions donating treasure to a museum. This world has museums and seed packets. Okay.

I mentioned these before. On one page, I was annoyed and highlighted all the typos (location 1990). There are seven.

First, we have Allegra speaking in the paragraph where Lucian is walking around, and it is his pov. If Allegra is speaking, she should get her own paragraph.

Next, we have a comma that should be a period. Then we have a missing comma, another comma that should be a period, a period that should be a comma, a comma that should be a period, and a missing comma. If you're picky about these things like I am, beware.

This is related but not quite the same. There were some awkward sentences. One was, "Kaelen got a look on his face that plainly read he knew something the others didn't." Why not, "Kaelen's face turned smug/secretive" or "Kaelen's expression showed he knew what Melantha was talking about."

Side plots
There were many many side plots that didn't seem at all connected to the rest of the story. Once, a boy's horse dies. It takes three pages, but it is never mentioned again, and the boy is barely mentioned again. Is this supposed to raise the tension? Nothing else happened in those three pages! Those scenes could have at least been integrated with finals (the next set of scenes) or the fairy wedding (previous scene).

There was a random wedding between people we hardly knew. Kieffer and his bride. I think Kieffer was somebody's older brother. Yeah, I get bored easily. Send me back to whoever the MC is. Put him in danger, or give him a riddle, or give him snappy dialogue (or, better yet, give him all three). Don't make him sit through a wedding ceremony again! (I think weddings are boring. Book weddings are no better, unless there's a spy or a flood like in Risky Perception and The Bands of Mourning).

Favorite moments
Quote 1, "You can't add flounces to trousers!"
Quote 2, "Just because I know the answer, doesn't mean I shouldn't ask." (sic)

My favorite year must have been year 3, since I only had one highlight.

I love that George is going to rescue all the abandoned princesses. It should have been done long before. In fact, the fairies' spells to whisk away the princesses should have had a time limit on them to bring the princesses back after a few years.

I did like the end, with the babysitter and the little boy begging for more story. It felt mysterious.
Profile Image for Julie W.
203 reviews
October 30, 2011
This is my nephew's wife's book she self published. You can order a hard copy through Amazon. My Mom let me borrow her copy. I'm really enjoying it. My 11 year old son (reluctant reader) read part of it (it's a thick book with small print so his teacher counted the first 10 chapters as one book) and he likes it too. I'll tell you more about after I finish it.

Update: finished the book. Can't wait until she writes the sequels so we can find out about each of the quests. If you like Shannon Hale or Gail Carson Levine's retelling of fairytales, you'll like this book.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
977 reviews88 followers
March 11, 2020
Title: Charming Academy

Series : Charming Academy #1

Author: Jessica L.Elliott

Kindle book

Pages: 500

Growing up is hard enough for anyone, but for a boy destined to be the Prince Charming of a fairy tale it's an absolute nightmare. Attending Charming Academy you not only deal with the normal aspects of youth, but there are sarcastic dragons, vindictive witches and your princess hates you. Will Lucian survive school and become the prince his parents believe him to be.

My thoughts

Would I recommend it ? yes

Would I read more of the series? Yes

Would I read more by this author? Yes

Have you ever wounder how the Prince Charming's became the Prince's they was meant to becoming before their stories, how they knew that the princess they had their forever afterwords with was the ones , will look no further ,because here is the book to explain all that. From fairies , watches to dragons , to how the frog prince came to be as well as to the beast , here is everything you can want to know abut your favorite fairy tails , and as for it been 500 pages long you don't have to worry because once you start to read the pages fly by pretty fast, and the story pulls you into as you read it.And it told though the years like first year and so on right up to the year when the prince's find out what their quest will be to find and save their princess. So come check this one out .
834 reviews8 followers
August 28, 2017
*I received this book free in a goodreads giveaway...*

...and proceeded to misplace it. Once I found it, I dove right in. I loved this book! At first I thought it was a Harry Potter knock off (supernatural-themed school for teenagers) but it got its own personality very quickly. I found this book, for lack of a better word, charming! The characters are fun and memorable and the plot is a lot of fun. I have a few gripes (though nothing bad enough to make it any lower than 5 stars): a few things are never explained, there is at least one instance where something happens that is ridiculously convenient (or unexplained) and there is one gaping plot hole which I can't get into without spoilers so let's just say I scratched my head a few times. But I still enjoyed it immensely! 5 stars!
Profile Image for Aurora.
61 reviews
August 12, 2018
I love how clever the author was explaining the truth about the fairy tales we all have grown up with. I love all of the characters and can't wait to read the second book. I still have many questions about the characters and their stories, but I bet they will be answered in their own book in the Charming Academy Series.

When my mother mention "Charming Academy", I was having bad thoughts about it being a cheap knock-off of explaining that fairy tale princes and princesses go to school like everyone else. But, I started reading it because I was looking for a book to read. I'm so glad that Mom introduce me to the series.

I just hope that I can find and finish the entire series. So far, I have a couple of book series that I can't find, so I couldn't finish their series. But good thing that my Dad already bought the second book of this series.
468 reviews2 followers
July 16, 2020
I enjoyed reading this story to my girls a lot and love the fact the babysitter in the book is telling a story to the child being babysat. We loved all the twists and turns in this story. We read about Charming Academy and that the prince's who go there are in school 6 years before going on quests. Princesses go to Fair Damsel Academy for 6 years also but they all learn different things depending on what they need to know for their quests they go on after graduating. Definitely entertaining and fun;a great start to the series.
Profile Image for Dusty Holloway.
Author 18 books234 followers
July 15, 2019
Best. Book. Ever.

This book has blown me away with it’s world building and depth- the author handles multiple characters’ intricate storylines with finesse and beauty. The relationships are real- nothing perfect or over glamorized. The pacing is wonderful and the story an amazing retelling of a classic idea. This book is very wholesome and heartwarming and I cannot wait to read the next.
Profile Image for Kath.
1,013 reviews27 followers
March 8, 2019
I have a bad habit of eating a book and moving on, but the creative approach that was written in this book inspires more. The inside view of what Prince Charmings must overcome, and the dilemmas they have when they act like normal teens, not to mention the view of the damsels in distress, was a blast to read! Thank you Ms. Elliott for sharing your creativity.
40 reviews
September 8, 2020
Charming Boys

This was a most enjoyable read. I laughed alot and cried some too. The adventures the boys had were so much fun to follow. And the stories of there princesses were lovable and fun. I recommend this book to all who have children and to those who don't. I think I'll go kiss my sleeping charming grandson. Thank you Jessica Elliott.
25 reviews1 follower
March 3, 2018
A different look at fairy tales

This was a fun book. A little bit fairy tales. A little bit Harry Potter, but kinder. Dragons, fairies, witches and a group of kids you'll learn to love. This would be a good book for pre teens. But this grandmother enjoyed it too.
42 reviews1 follower
October 23, 2019
Purity, beauty, positive.

This book is so moving, and inspiring for every one. It gives hope that there is still purity, light, love. This book moved me very much. Thank you for taking the time to read this review.
Profile Image for Diana.
11 reviews
December 3, 2019
Loved this book, getting ready to start the next book in the series. I did cringe a little at gender roles, but was able to get past that. Feel like I know the characters personally, and I have to know if they complete their quests.
117 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2018
Good read

Good read. Still love the characters. So anxious for next book. Can't get enough of this series. Must read series. Well written.
Profile Image for Kenneth Ing.
11 reviews
April 29, 2018
Where Fairy Tales Begin

I wish I had read or had this read to me in my youth...All my fairy tales and questions in one place.
Profile Image for Karen.
268 reviews
July 6, 2019
Adorable perspective on the training of the fairy tale Princes. And how the mistakes and punishments shaped their quests
Profile Image for Alissa J. Zavalianos.
Author 7 books166 followers
October 26, 2019
This was lighthearted and enjoyable! I love all the characters and the multiple story lines.

There are a lot of names though, so I’m often getting them confused. Oh well, I don’t really mind.
Profile Image for Bethany.
741 reviews18 followers
April 12, 2022
3.5 stars

This was a lot better than I expected it to be. Once I actually sat down and finished reading it. I knew I would enjoy it. (okay i didn't know but i had a feeling) and I did just a lot more than I thought I would.
Now this is a first for me. The entire first book dedicated to the entire school experience. We go from year one all the way to graduation in year seven. It started off a bit soft, I kind of expected all the boarding school cliche's that are so prevalent nowadays, and they are there. But I feel like the book manage to grow beyond that just a little. I think it helps that the years are not broken down into seven different books. The class depictions are interesting but I liked that we're not stuck in the minutiae of the day to day. Its enough to see the boys go to class, the class is described enough we know what's going on but I'm glad we're not stuck there listening to the professor drone on and on like Droneus. I enjoyed the school life of the princes we see them grow, see how their relationships change, not only with their princesses but with themselves and their families. I could see the set up of the different fairy tales. The Frog Prince, Beauty and the Beast, others I'm not sure about so of course I'm looking forward to the rest of the series to find out.
Overall I liked it. I think it's a cute take on revisiting the fairy tales and their origins. For a little while I was afraid we'd fall into a rut and it would become annoying, everyone pigeonholed holed into roles. But it doesn't happen. there is I think added depth to the world which I liked. However this is a fairy tale world so if someone gets offended by traditional gender roles, avoid it unless you can let stuff go. Because you've got the boys doing "boy" stuff here hunting, fishing, riding astride, and girls going "girl" stuff, embroider, sewing, flower arranging riding side saddle. And there is talk about girls don't do somethings because that's a boy thing. Guys it annoyed me a little as well. But the story is still enjoyable.
Recommended? Sure.
Buy/Borrow? Either
Profile Image for Kristi Cramer.
Author 18 books55 followers
December 25, 2016
I loved this book. It is very well written, and brought me to tears (of joy and sadness) on more than one occasion. I loved how it followed the wonder and angst of being young adults who are expected to fulfill their destiny by having the character of "prince charming" or "fair damsels" in a fairy tale world come to life.

The dramas the students went through felt very natural, even if it was angsty. I'm generally not a fan of angst. Some YA books I've read the angst feels forced, but here the ebb and flow of friendships, and each character's development as they grew throughout the school years was captivating without being annoying.

I enjoyed seeing the various characters and trying to figure out which of the classic fairytales they were going to become. I'm not sure I figured out what the main characters' tale was, though.

All in all, this is a sweet, family friendly storybook that does deal with some harsh worldly truths, like death, bullying, making mistakes, and standing up in the face of something that isn't right. There are lots of good life lessons, but no hint of it being preachy or boring. In short, I loved it!
10 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2012
I loved this book! It kept me from getting my housework done because I kept wanting to read "just one more page" to see what would happen next. My husband and 16 year old son also enjoyed the book. I can't wait for Jessica's next book to see what will happen with Adrian & Allegra's quest.

Jessica does a good job of winding together several subplots and adding information that will be useful to the reader as the story unfolds. Her characters are easy to relate to and will keep you smiling, laughing, and crying at times.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
317 reviews
January 7, 2012
I think Jess did a really great job on her first book. The idea was unique and intriguing. I admit a little trouble getting into it, and it was kind of slow, but I enjoyed it over all and am excited to read about the quests of the characters. I'm been thinking about them a lot since finishing the book, mainly attempting to forgive out which fairy tales will line up with George and Jacobi's quests. I really love the characters. They were very realistic and well-rounded.
Profile Image for Jonathan Elliott.
3 reviews1 follower
June 14, 2012
Good so far. The story shows how the Prince Charming of Fairy Tales went to school to prepare for that. The beginning of the revision, what is now available, moves much quicker than the original release; much better. I can't wait to read the sense of what happens to Adrian and Kaelen. I'm also looking forward to the scene with Lucian and Draconus' mother.
Profile Image for Olivia.
61 reviews
November 21, 2011
I thought it was a great first book and with time and experience, they will only get even better. The stories were captivating and it was a wonderful experience to see it from the point of the Prince Charming. The only thing I would change is the fast pace of covering so many years in one book.
Profile Image for Katherine Gilraine.
Author 10 books38 followers
November 17, 2011
If you've grown up with fairy tales and if you have been an inquisitive child and asked how the princes always knew exactly what to do...well, you have your answer right here. A story for all ages, relatable on every level, sarcastic dragons included.
Profile Image for Shantell.
1 review
July 19, 2013
This was such a great take on the prince's view of how fairy tales bein I am so looking forward to reading the next few.
Profile Image for H.S. Contino.
Author 9 books16 followers
December 14, 2013
I enjoyed reading this book. I thought that it was an interesting spin on the fairy tale world. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Dawnita Fogleman.
Author 4 books27 followers
August 21, 2017
This is 500 pages of wonderful story, characters, and life lessons. I love books that concentrate on building character in children. This series definitely does that very thing. There were so many applications to real life in these pages. I love that! This is not a fluffy, unrealistic, lovey-dovey faerie tale. Our children (even the teens) were asking for more each time I closed the book for the night.
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