The Barnes & Noble Review
This first installment in what promises to be a compelling multi-volume saga is equal parts alternate history, adult fairy tale, and contemporary fantasy. A Massachusetts teenager's daydreams of really being a princess adopted by commoners turn out to be true, as she and her friends are inexplicably transported into an alternate Earth filled with magic and mayhem.
Miranda Popescu is just a regular kid growing up in a cozy college town in Berkshire County with her aunt and uncle. But when weird things start happening -- bizarre acts of vandalism, strange creatures lurking in the woods, etc. -- Miranda realizes that it's all somehow linked with her mysterious Roumanian lineage. With the help of her best friend, Andromeda, and a not-so-secret admirer named Peter, Miranda tries to unravel the mystery, only to be accosted by European youths who inform Miranda that she is actually the white tyger, a descendant of ancient royalty, and is destined -- if the prophecy holds true -- to lead corruption- and violence-plagued Roumania to freedom. The youths try to forcefully bring Miranda to their power-hungry, conjuring mistress, but something goes wrong, and the three friends find themselves in an 18th-century world where England doesn't exist, the Industrial Revolution never happened, paganism is the dominant religion, woolly mammoths roam North America, and Roumania is a European power on the verge of all-out war with Germany.
As darkly lyrical as it is thematically complex, this utterly unique novel practically demands to be read -- Harry Turtledove meets Hans Christian Andersen. Paul Goat Allen
Sharp characterization and an unusual historical backdrop distinguish Park's charming leadoff to an intricate new fantasy series. In an alternate 18th-century world where England's been swamped by a tidal wave, America teems with blond savages and "Roumania" and Germany battle for European domination, a magic book concocted by conjuress Aegypta Schenck sends young Miranda Popescu, the "white tyger" descendant of ancient royalty and Roumania's hope of freedom from "black tyranny," to Massachusetts to escape the fiendish Baroness Nicola Ceausescu and the heinous elector of Ratisbon. With her best friend, Andromeda (turned magically into first a yellow dog and later a charismatic male Roumanian courtier), and her loyal teenage admirer, Peter ("really" the son of Roumania's bravest warrior), Miranda makes hard choices to start fulfilling her destiny. Park (Celestis, etc.) leaves some tantalizing loose ends, while the wily baroness and the necromancing elector promise dashing adventure and delicious heartbreak ahead. Blurbs from Ursula K. Le Guin and John Crowley testify to the novel's high quality. Agent, John Silbersack at Trident Media Group. (July 27) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Massachusetts teenager Miranda Popescu has a secret: she is actually a princess from an alternate Roumania, and the evil Baroness Ceaucescu is hunting for her across time and space. When the baroness finally finds Miranda and brings her to her own world, the girl's two friends, Peter and Andromeda, go with her and confront a world similar to their own but at the same time dangerously different. Park's fantasy debut, the first of a projected series, features a strong and resourceful teen heroine and an action-packed story of friendship and adversity. With strong appeal for both YA and adult readers, this belongs in most libraries. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“No one writes like Paul Park, and when he turns to magic, the results are magical. A Princess of Roumania is weirder and wilder than any fantasy you've read before and even those elements which might have been familiar -- a princess, a werewolf, a jewel, a gypsy, magic and murder -- are transformed into strangeness. Park's characters, incidents, and images will stay with you long after you've finished this book.” Karen Joy Fowler
“A Princess of Roumania is at once a vastly ambitious and passionately realized work of art, and immediately appealing in all the ways that the heart-tugging matter of high fantasy ought to be. Park's Miranda is as brave and questing as a heroine of fantasy should be, and his Baroness Ceaucescu is a fascinating portrait of unstoppable evil that is never more or less than appallingly -- even appealingly -- human. Every page of this book holds something you couldn't have imagined and yet that strikes you as supremely right and satisfying. A huge achievement.” John Crowley
“Complex, elusive, haunting, written in a transparent prose that slips you from one world to another with...ease” Ursula Le Guin
“I love it! I think it's wonderful.” Elizabeth Hand
“A superb new fantasy, the first in what I hope will be many books in a series.” Ed Greenwood