Murdock (Dairy Queen) reworks now standard elements of the modern fairy tale-reluctant princess, haughty prince, evil queen, portentous prophesies-for this frothy coming-of-age story. Princess Ben (short for Benevolence) is effectively orphaned after assassins kill her uncle the king and her mother, and her father disappears. Now heiress to Montagne's throne, Ben is forced into the tutelage of her aunt, Queen Sophia, with a regimen of dance lessons, embroidery and dieting, all in order to be married off to Florian, crown prince of menacing Drachensbett. After their umpteenth clash, the queen locks Ben in a tower, where Ben discovers a hidden portal, a wizarding room and a book of spells. Through her forays in magic, Ben learns that if Drachensbett's leaders can't marry their way into controlling Montagne, they will take it by force, and she will have to use her smarts to save her country. There's no new ground broken-the sardonic, witty repartee between Ben and Florian would fit right into a Shrek sequel-but the story (think poor man's Gail Carson Levine) is thoroughly entertaining. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Princess Benby Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Benevolence is not your typical princess.
With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle’s highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts: mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively… See more details below
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Benevolence is not your typical princess.
With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle’s highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts: mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle pantries, setting her hair on fire . . . But Ben’s private adventures are soon overwhelmed by a mortal threat to her kingdom. Can Ben save the country and herself from foul tyranny?
Gr 6-10- After 15-year-old Princess Benevolence's parents and her uncle, the king, are presumed killed by agents of neighboring, much-larger Drachensbett, she moves to the palace to live with her widowed aunt, Sophia, now the queen regent, to be groomed as heir to the throne. When Ben discovers magic within the walls of her castle home, she finds a means for asserting her independence and escaping her aunt's control. After a series of adventures and hardships away from the castle, including time spent as a prisoner and drudge in a Drachensbett army camp, Ben ultimately returns to the castle to accept her royal duties. Since her previous behavior has led to questions about her suitability for the throne, she must prove herself to her friends and enemies, using her magic and her wits to find her own adult role. At first, Ben is somewhat spoiled and childish, but the loss of her parents forces her to grow and mature. The first-person narrative is presented as the writing of a much-older Ben, looking back at her life, which allows for both immediacy and frequent humorous comments. The formal tone contrasts with Ben's droll remarks about her many misfortunes. The magic is a significant tool, but her intellect and decisions for how to use her powers are more important than her limited repertoire of spells. Murdock's first venture into fantasy offers a fairy tale with several twists and surprises, and readers will be drawn into the world and moods that she creates.-Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 3 MB
- Age Range:
- 12 Years
Meet the Author
Catherine Murdock grew up on a small farm in Connecticut and now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, two brilliant unicycling children, several cats, and a one-acre yard that she is slowly transforming into a wee, but flourishing ecosystem. She is the author of several books, including the popular Dairy Queen series starring lovable heroine D. J. Schwenk, Princess Ben, and Wisdom's Kiss.
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