Mitch's Reviews > Princess of the Silver Woods

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
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's review
Jul 03, 2012

liked it

Definitely one for the fans. I still think Princess of Glass is the best book in this series, but Princess of the Silver Woods isn’t without its charms. Yes, the story itself is flawed and more than a little repetitive, but, with all the familiar characters from the first two books back, sometimes, it’s just nice to catch up with your favorites and ask, hey, what have you been up to?

Still, I have to wonder if being a direct sequel to Princess of the Midnight Ball rather being more of a standalone like Princess of Glass was ends up hurting this book in the long run. The first few chapters start with a bang and are not bad at all, and Jessica Day George really does a great job distinguishing Petunia from her sisters Rose and Poppy, but the beginning is just way too explanatory with too much information being given through exposition. A lot of dialogue and entire paragraphs are spent explaining the fallout from the events of the first book, Oliver’s situation, why he’s this bandit earl robbing passing coaches in the Westfalin Woods; the Grand Duchess and her connection to the King Under Stone via the Nine Daughters of Russaka legend; the whole political situation with the different kingdoms. The connection between the Grand Duchess and the former King Under Stone in particular, I get it, this doesn’t have to be repeated ad nauseum until I feel like shaking whichever character is discussing this and yelling at them, ‘so she’s in league with the King Under Stone, what are you going to do about it?’ It just seemed like plot development’s forced on me via endless speculation, Princess of Glass did the whole storytelling business so much better.

Come to think of it, Princess of Glass also handled its cast way better. The problem with the twelve dancing princesses legend is that there are just way too many princesses, in a novel setting adding in the princes, the villains, various supporting characters, there are just too many players and not enough space to develop them all. Actually, that’s a big reason why I thought Princess of Glass was such a huge improvement over Princess of the Midnight Ball, not just because Poppy’s the spunkiest, most compelling of the bunch, but because I could add up the main characters in that book and not get to twelve, everybody got their moment. So while I like Petunia, like how she’s not the little girl from the first book but just as cute with her matches and her pistol, and Oliver always saying the wrong thing is definitely not Galen or Christian, everybody else sort of faded into the background because of the huge cast of characters, despite Jessica Day George’s best efforts.

I do appreciate those efforts though - there are plenty of Easter eggs for anyone who’s paid real attention to the first two books. Poppy learns riding! Walter and that old lady are back! Petunia’s (still) a pyromaniac! But while the Easter eggs are very cool, the ending tries a little too hard to recall the ending of the first book, besides a weirdly incorporated Red Riding Hood scene, I felt like I was reading an almost event by event rehash of how Galen defeated the first King Under Stone - the bad guys even fall for the same obvious things they did the first time! -... well except now Oliver’s in it too. And getting to that point, parts here and there feel forced, the Red Riding Hood scene again, the princesses’ explanation for how they ended up in their final predicament, another scene with Petunia falling into an obvious trap that just left me at a loss for words, and not in a good way. Still, I really can’t complain about the results even if I complain about the methods, because the last couple of throwbacks to the end of Princess of the Midnight Ball were pretty well done, brings this series full circle, and are definitely one of the high points of this book.

I wouldn’t recommend picking up this sequel without reading at least Princess of the Midnight Ball, because quite a bit of knowledge about that book’s required to really appreciate the finer points of this one, but for fans of the first book, Princess of the Silver Woods isn’t a bad way to end the series. Even if at times it does try my patience.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa So was there a wolf?? :p

Mitch There are actually two, but only one's big bad.

Sara I hated princess of glass.

Rowan Fae I didn't read your whole review, because I didn't want spoilers, but I just want to say that: I picked this book up last night at a F/SF convention; it's the first JDG book I've read, and I don't normally start with not-the-first-book, but the ladies at the B&N booth told me that it didn't really matter (last time I listen to them), so I bought the one that had given me goosebumps reading the back.
(When I chatted with JDG and told her that story, she kinda facepalmed.)
Anyway, what I wanted to say was, since I haven't read any preceding books, the history/info is really useful so far and very interesting. I don't find it bogging anything down in the slightest.
So, I know your feel, because like I said, I always start at the beginning and read through to the end of a series, and I usually feel that the info is too much, but for now, anyway, it's a very good amount.
My two cents.

Satvika couldn't agree more with this review..

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