Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Runaway Princess

A review featuring Bit (Bibliophile in Training), age six.

Today Bit and I finished reading together The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs.  I am so happy that I have discovered her books.  We are loving them.  And while Bit and I just finished this one today I, of course, finished it on my own long ago along with its sequel.
The Story
The Kingdom of Greeve is a peaceful place to live.  The resident dragon has not been seen for two years and hasn't eaten anyone in a couple generations.  The witch in the wood bothers no one and has a passion for romance novels and a lot of pet frogs (with suspicious origins).  The bandits steal from the very wealthy and are not inclined toward senseless violence.  They are very helpful to the poor.  Then in the name of "economic development" the Prime Minister and the King decide to hold a contest.  If a prince can rid the kingdom of these three "scourges" he will be permitted to marry the Princess Margaret and rule half the kingdom.  When the Princess, Meg to her friends, refuses to go along with this ridiculous plan she is shut up in a tower and guarded around the clock.  But Meg refuses to resign herself to her fate and with a little help from her friends escapes her prison and sets off to rescue the dragon, the witch and the bandits from the "evil princes".

Bit's Thoughts 
This is my new favorite book.  I like Princess Meg.  I like that she is smart and I like how she uses her brains.  I am going to dress up liker her for Halloween.  The prince I liked best was Bain.  I liked all of Meg's new and old friends too.  There is one chapter I keep reading over and over.  It's really surprising and funny.  I think it's the best book ever and I think you should read it.

My Thoughts
This book is unadulterated fun.  For a fun fluffy princess story the book was not easy to predict and the unexpected events are the most hilarious. Yes, this book is funny. Literally laugh out loud funny.  One of my favorite parts about reading it aloud was listening as Bit giggled and chortled through whole sections of it.  When I was reading it myself my continuous laughter drew comment from my husband.  (Who has now heard more about this story then he probably ever wanted too.  Bit has read chapters to him and recited the whole plot line more than once.)  The story basically plays on old fairy tale plot devises and exploits them in delightful ways.   This comes with a host of endearing and quirky characters including a rebellious princess, a stalwart gardener, a loyal maid, a malleable guard, a lonely wizard in search of friends and adventure, a reclusive witch who only wishes to be left alone with her romance novels, a parcel of cocky and useless princes(plus one evil one), some rather unique bandits and a baby dragon answering to the name of Laddy.
What is not to love about that?  

This was originally published on my livejournal in September 2010.

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