What happens when a fairy tale princess falls in love with a witch instead of the handsome prince she's destined to marry? Princess Mary Melancholy has no idea how to be happy. Self-conscious and socially awkward, all she really wants is to believe in something the way everyone else does. Her royal troubles abound since she's engaged to be married as part of a peace treaty between two warring kings. Mary meets a witch named Salem who is cantankerous, bawdy and banned from the land because of her Evil intentions. But when Salem accidentally kisses the princess and they both feel a spark of attraction, a forbidden romance begins that threatens the future of two kingdoms. Will Mary choose love and scandalize the family as The Evil Princess or accept responsibility and protect her people? This mix of literature, genre, political satire and fanfiction is a surreal experience. Too funny to be serious, too disturbing to be a comedy, it's a roller coaster ride into a caricatured world that mirrors our own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I gave this book a 4 star because it not only held my attention, but challenged me, sometimes frustrated me and ultimately made me talk about what I was reading with non-readers. Something I rarely feel motivated to do. I have a lot of different feelings about this book, many of which are conflicting. I first read it in parts. I read the first little bit and got settled into what seemed like a semi-adult or "teen" for lack of a better word re-working of the Princess and Magical Kingdom needing saving trope. It was genial and an easy enough read to get into. Just as the reader gets comfortable in a slightly commentative mystical land, you are tossed into a cauldron of sexuality, I'm not even going to call it symbolic because it's not, not even close; and ham-fisted commentary on our acceptance and complicit abuse of people who are "Other" through our use of Disney-like fairy tale tellings. It was like a trap. "Here, here's a little fantasy tale that might teach you something", followed by "Aha! In my trap mortal! Now you're going to see what your magical little faerie tales are doing to people!" There was no subterfuge to it. It was clear that you were going to be forced to learn. And also, there would be songs! (Arguably the worst part of any Disney-like production.) I really didn't like the songs. But some people probably did. I'm just a known musical hit and miss supporter. I bet with music it would have been more bearable. You will face your fallacies in this book. But at the same time, you will like most of the characters. There's a lot to be learned from that. Nobody seemed completely desolate of worth in this story. I, at least was able to clearly see everyone's side and that is both unsettling because you don't know exactly what to feel at first and exciting because you begin to care about more of the story. It's a story that creates opportunity for discussion. It's probably worth mentioning that you might want to keep it away from your 12-15 teens if you are puritanical. I personally wouldn't bother but rather use it as a teaching moment if they happened across it. While on the subject, I fully believe in happening across books. There are some books that are a bit more magical and stick-with-you-ish if you just happen across them. Books like 'The Song of Kali', 'The Night Circus' 'Memoirs of the Messiah' and this book right here: The Evil Princess. Chance is a great thing. The other thing about this book: It really needs to be a graphic novel. Graphic Novelization would greatly improve the pacing of this book. I wanted to feel the action in how I read it more. That's my major complaint. It is my ardent desire that someone will pick up this book, read it and contact Mitchell Warren with an offer to animate this story, maybe throw in some Hentai because there is definitely room for the profane and weird here. Or, you know make a series out of it for YouTube or something. This book is the first part in a Series of Magical Kingdom Books, so there's that for everyone who wants to know what happens next.
Fans of the antihero rejoice! In this first book, of an inevitable series, the author eloquently and artfully blurs the lines between good and evil that will forever warp your preconceptions. You will cheer for the "bad guy" and hiss at the "good guy" in a story of stories that will become your new guilty pleasure. This is not your typical Disney fairy tale with the predictable meaning and ending... this is something new and refreshing! The imagery is meticulously illustrated and the characters are thoughtfully and logically developed, giving the reader a deeper connection to the story. This genre is not for the elderly, young, or faint of heart! This book is highly adult themed and will take you on an emotional ride that will make you laugh, cry, blush and possibly barf! L. M. Warren is a mad scientist with a knack for stimulating the mind and the heart with his entertaining and thought provoking style of writing. I can't wait to see what's next!
Those who are familiar with Mitchell Warrens books, such as Cry on Cue and Attempted Rapture know that one of his greatest strengths is in creating an emotional context that leaves the reader feeling like a fish that has been dragged up to the bank by a river, then abandoned. The assault on the senses batters you through the second half of the book as fantasy is stripped away to show the tragedy of real-life situations. You cling desperately to Salem, waiting for her magic to put right the terrible wrongs inflicted on the innocents. Apart from the emotional roller coaster the author is so fond of treating his readers to, is the remarkable style of his delivery. The Onion and Slate can’t even contend with his sharp wit and shrewd insight into human behavior, and their satire looks abominable compared to his cutting edge criticism and colorful sarcasm so infectious it can make an oil refinery bust into a belly dance.