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Once Upon a Marigold (Upon a Marigold, #1)
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Once Upon a Marigold

(Upon a Marigold #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  24,372 ratings  ·  1,634 reviews
Christian is gaga for Princess Marigold. But he's just a commoner, and no match for royalty. Heck, he lives in a cave with a troll! And now he's discovered another reason to put his love-soggy heart on ice: Queen Olympia is scheming to take over the kingdom--and she'll bump off her own daughter to do it. Can Christian foil her diabolical plans?
Paperback, 271 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Harcourt, Inc. (first published October 1st 2002)
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gina I personally like Sir Magnus, since he seems like a nicer and more genuine person.

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  24,372 ratings  ·  1,634 reviews

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they just don't make books like this one anymore.

those early aughts goofy fairytale-y middle grade fantasy-adventures...nothing will ever hit like these hit for eleven year old me. nothing.

this book has a protagonist who's best friends with a troll, an evil queen villain who wants to kill her actual daughter (NOT EVEN HER STEPDAUGHTER. bold), and the word "soggy" in the synopsis.

it is everything to me.

part of a series i'm doing where i review books i read a long time ago, and either immediately
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the cutest book in the entire world. You kind of just want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George, because it's just that damned cute.

The subtitle is "part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen sink," and that's pretty accurate. I got a bit of a Princess Bride type of vibe from it. I just kept giggling throughout - totally mixed up fairy tale, just slightly surreal and a bit mocking. So much fun!

(Okay, there were some parts where the author was clearly trying too
Sara ♥

This book was awesome! And, okay, I DO happen to have a thing for cheesy young-adult romance fairy-tales, but still, it was really clever and totally adorable! And CLEAN. I wouldn't hesitate to read this book to an 8-year-old (or younger, if they were interested). It was predictable (I guessed who Christian was in the first chapter, but whatever... the goal of the book wasn't to be cryptic), but it was just so sweet and innocent and SO funny!

Okay, so it's about this 6-year-old b
Nov 10, 2007 rated it liked it
I totally judged a book by its cover on this one. The font the words are printed in reminded me of the font from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (easy read, I knew), and it proclaimed itself to be “part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen-sink; happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top!” Well, I don’t know about all that, but it was an entertaining read — a fairy tale with a modern, fun, whimsical feel to it.

I must admit I liked the fir
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Absolutely delightful even the second time around. I am glad to have a chance to re-read the first two, and to finally read the third.

EtA: I like how this one is from the pov of the male character.

Btw, I guess I really do love this author. I also own her Love Among the Walnuts (which I found at a thrift store, sans jacket, and did not realize as YA because it read as adult) and am going to reread that before releasing it.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
My name is Christian- I don’t know what my last name is, because when I was five years old, I decided I’d had enough with boring lessons about how to sip tea properly and wearing silly uncomfortable clothes all day. So I ran away- and that’s how I met Ed. Ed’s my dad. He found me hiding in the woods and tried to take me back to my parents, but I decided I liked Ed way more than them, so I tricked him into adopting me. Oh, yeah, Ed’s also a troll, and he pretends to be all grumpy and troll like m ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I unabashedly love children's books, but this was even too juvenile for me.

Marigold is a strong-willed princess who is being forced to marry a prince she doesn't love. Christian is a bright young man who doesn't realize he's actually a prince. You already know how this is going to end. Beyond being predictable, the story tries very hard to have an irreverent, almost Shrek-like tone. But it fails by being unfunny and weighed down by trite concepts like p-mail (it's like email but with pigeons, g
Lindsay (pawsomereads)
Mar 10, 2022 rated it really liked it
I was so obsessed with this book as a kid, I checked it out of my elementary school library at least 5 times a year.
I love revisiting old childhood favorites and finding that they bring me the same comfort and joy as when I first read them.
This was such a fun and whimsical read!
Apr 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children, fantasy, 2011
I feel bad giving this such a low rating because I think there are a lot of young girls who would really, really like it. But, for me, it was just too juvenile...and that's coming from someone who LOVES children's and young adult literature.

I know it's a little unfair to say that a middle-grade book (written for 9-12 year-olds) was "too juvenile." But I'm comparing it to other books for the same age group (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, anyone?), and it can't even hold a candle aga
May 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Wonderful and orginal fairy tale! And one that is not like any other fariy tale out there.


This is my second read. It's just one of those books that you can't seem to put down, but not the kind that you can't stop thinking about. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful book. But.....it's just a good story. It's not something you can't get off your mind.

There were some cheesy parts, but that's part of the charm of the book. It's silly, crazy, touching and cheesy. That's basically the novel in a n
Jamie Dacyczyn
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
2022 reread: 3.5 stars. Picked this up because it and it's sequel were on the library's free cart. I hadn't realized there was a sequel, so now of course I had to reread this one before I could read the second. My original thoughts still stand. It's cute, fun, definitely not intended to be a "serious" fantasy story. Things wrap up in somewhat farcical ways, but it works for the kind of story that it is. Not sure that I need to keep this for my own collection, because I didn't LOVE it, and I thin ...more
Davu Chau
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness this was such an amazing book!!! SO CUTE! SO FUNNY! SO GOOD! It nails all the elements of a nice story, and has just enough action to keep things lively, but not so much that it becomes a super intense read (which are great in their own right, depending on what you want to read). It was a nice change of pace compared to all the other books I’ve been reading lately, and honestly I appreciated every single part of it, even the romance! (Don’t tell all my friends I said that) All in ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well this was utterly adorable. Full review to come.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5
I really enjoyed this book. I was a light, fun, fairytale read reminiscent of Ella Enchanted, The Princess Bride, Disney Princess Movies, and Barbie Princess Movies. A Mishmash of a bunch of storybook tropes and cliches, creating a wonderfully odd, but familiar, world. There weren’t any swear words, but some cartoonish violence and a few kisses occur.

I was a little nervous to read this because I wasn’t sure on the content. Not one of my friends of here reviewed it, so I didn’t know w
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What do you get when you mix an evil mother, a not so typical princess, a grumpy troll and a lost boy? You get “everything but the kitchen sink”. Once upon a Marigold is a book that follows a young boy falling in love with a princess across the river who exchanges little notes with him using p-mail (pigeon mail) creating a beautiful distant relationship. That’s when Christian decides it’s time for him to pursue his dreams and decides to leave his father troll, who has raised him since he found C ...more
This book is just as cute as a pile of puppies and kittens licking each other's ears on a glittery pink blanket. Surrounded by cupcakes.

That is to say, there's a certain audience for this kind of thing and everyone else should keep their cute-sickness bags handy. (I am saying this as a fan of Cute Overload with a very high tolerance for cuteness.)

It's the light and fluffy side of a fairy tale without the darkness.

But it isn't bad. Ed and Christian are relatively enlightened buddies. While Princ
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ok. So I decided to read up on some of my favorite books ever just to remember how much I really do love them. And it also reminded me how sad some of the science fiction stuff can be compared to this lovely and just plain cute fantasy! I freaking love this book! It's just adorable. It makes me happy and joyous and I must say, a bit hyper. :) This is one of those books that you just have to read when you're having a dumper day. And I was kinda having one when I read it all yesterday when I was s ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was actually the second time I had read this book and I always love it. It is a good story and not some heavy book that makes you think all deep. It is just a good book with trolls and princess and an even mother who wants to take over the kingdom. It is a good book for anyone who is ready to get out of reading super serious books. It's a great book and I do recommend it. ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this little book - it never fails to make me smile. The sweetest combination of fantasy/fairytale/romance with a great sense of humour. My ultimate comfort read when I’m feeling blue!
Barbara ★
This is super cute and sweet as hell. I loved Christian, Marigold, Ed and the dogs...all five of them.

I particularly liked Ed because he reminded me of Eve Dallas (In Death series) with all his mixed cliches. Made me smile every time.

"He'd buttered his bread, and now he'd have to lie in it."
"What's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the eager beaver."
"You just have to take the bear by the horns."

I'm looking forward to Twice Upon A Marigold.
Stacy Lynn
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Once Upon a Marigold" is a romantic comedy book. In the story, a commoner who lives in a cave with a troll and two dogs falls in love with the youngest princess of their kingdom. They start off as best friends through "p-mail" (basically handwritten letters sent by pigeons), but soon they meet at one point in the book and become something more. This is a very cheesy book filled with corny jokes, so I think only a few section of readers would enjoy reading this and apparently I'm a part of that ...more
This was so cute, and it literally gave me both Pippin and Ella Enchanted vibes, so, like, love that. I'm also so proud of myself for finally finishing it, considering I wrote a book report on it over 11 years ago now... ...more
Anna T
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-library
I read this as a teenager and remembered it being super cute and funny with well-rounded characters and a charming love story...I'm very happy to say it's just as amazing as I remembered. It's a fantastic light read and hard to put down. ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
My preteen niece recommended this one to me. It was cute, and very much for preteens :)
Denae Christine
Reader thoughts: I almost put the book down on page two. So glad I didn't! (It starts with an old man walking through the woods. Not interesting, until you find out he's a troll.)

The book's climax reminded me of Ella Enchanted. There was a curse to break, a step-mother to face, a prince to marry, people shouting, and a dog-powered flying machine (okay, not exactly like Ella Enchanted). Fun though, and lots happening at once.

The relationship between Christian and his foster father was well-don
Sep 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
When I had heard about this book, I was hoping for something light and fluffy but still enough substance to be grounded and thoughtful (like the Enchanted Forest Chronicles). It was certainly light and fluffy but there wasn't much else besides.

The idea of both a story and characters was interesting enough but were incredibly underdeveloped. I liked the dynamic and Marigold and her sisters but the surface was barely scratched on it. While the author tried go a little further than Marigold is sl
Brigid ✩
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
OMG!!! When I read the back of this book, I didn't think it was going to be all that interesting. My sister had said it was really good, so I thought I'd give it a try; of course, I ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting. WOW. This is quite possibly the HAPPIEST thing I have ever read in my life. You would have to be the most cold-hearted person on the planet to not love this book! It is just the cutest little story! Seriously, if you want to put yourself in a good mood, this book is e ...more
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
Honestly, I probably would've adored this book back in junior high. Its a cute spin on the fairytale genre, but a little too predictable. A princess in distress who is the smart outcast of her sisters, an evil queen, a fatherly king, a prince in disguise, etc etc. Also, some of the lines in the story were corny to the max and the plot seems to move extremely slow in some places.
The main reason though why I'm giving this one a 2 is because I didn't necessarily like some of the stereotypes that we
Nov 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I picked up this book because a friend of mine really enjoyed it. I tried to get into it, because there were a couple of cute ideas in the book, but in the end the writing was simply too poor to keep me engaged. Every time I managed to get involved in the story for a few paragraphs, I would be tossed out of the story again by a particularly awkward bit of exposition. The characters weren't well-developed (with the possible exception of Marigold), and the plot was slow-moving and awkwardly contri ...more
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This author is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects: living with a deaf parent (Of Sound Mind), facing the consequences of a criminal act (Bad), or questioning one's sexuality (Eight Seconds). But Jean Ferris is also adept at writing comedy, historical fiction, and romance. What's most interesting is that she didn't publish her first novel until she was in her mid-40s. Yet she's never forgotten ...more

Other books in the series

Upon a Marigold (3 books)
  • Twice Upon a Marigold (Upon a Marigold, #2)
  • Thrice Upon a Marigold (Upon a Marigold, #3)

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