Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George (2 stars)
Kel Thursday, October 02, 2014 reviewI love fairy tale retellings and, despite some difficulties tracking down a copy, I finally finished this trilogy. Jessica Day George follows Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass with another round of light, fun, fairy tale-inspired fantasy. The third and final volume picks up the tale of Westfalin's 12 princesses with the youngest, Petunia, now grown and looking forward to a visit in the country...until she's attacked by greenwood bandits.
Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
Series: Princess #3
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Published on December 11, 2012
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Book
Final Rating: 2 stars
When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.
What I Liked:
- I'm impressed that the author weaves, not two, but three fairy tales into this retelling. It's little pieces here and there, but they're like Easter eggs in Disney movies- an extra dose of geeky fun if you're looking for them.
- Petunia is a decent mix of a quiet, lady-like princess and a decisive (armed) young woman. Toward the end, she gets less squeamish about actually firing the pistol she carries; but I think the story would have been more entertaining were we following Poppy (from Book 2) instead. Poppy usually makes things happen, rather than waiting for them to come to her, and there were several points where Poppy would enter the scene, say where'd she been, and I'd think, drat, why weren't we with her? That sounds fun! Like when she beat the princes at poker to win back their riding clothes. I wanted to see that, but I was stuck listening to girls cry and whine.
What I Didn't Like:
- The story feels rushed, like everything happens at an accelerated pace so we can fit it all in.
- Petunia is too trusting, bordering on naive and/or oblivious. After being magically forced to dance as a child, how long is it going to take you to be suspicious of people that are obviously out to get you and whose strange behavior is coinciding with dreams of the evil, magical Below?
- The romance - Oliver, you're talking hormones, not love...but I guess we had to find some way to get you involved in this whole thing in a snap.
- I feel like you're expected to remember who each princess is from the earlier books. A line is tossed out about princess so-and-so and, with the exception of former protagonists Poppy and Rose, I'm thinking, which one is that again?
- There are several...less than smart decisions from all the princesses. Not that characters always have to make good choices, but some of these were stupid beyond belief.
- As in the first two books, everything is solved too easily, and there's no major sacrifice. Minor spoiler, but we don't lose anyone we're really attached to.
If you like your fairy tales with a little more grit and darkness or more developed romances, you may be disappointed. If, however, you're looking for an easy, escapist beach read, look no further. Princess of the Silver Woods is a quick tale of magic and romance. It's not deep and complicated, but it's fairly entertaining. If you read and enjoyed the first two books of the series, you will like this one, too.