Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell




Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?

I’m not sure what to think about this book. It was so incredibly different than I was expecting. Originally I thought it was just about the twelve dancing princesses, but then I found that the latter half of the book tackles another tale altogether: Hades and Persephone! The dust jacket says Beauty and the Beast, but it’s clear that it’s more than that.

I found myself struggling to connect with Reveka. She didn’t seem very realistic to me. She had her heart set on joining a convent, and she’s only 13! That and a lot of other things seemed really out of character for a 13 year old. I think if she’d been older (15/16), she would’ve come off as more realistic and relatable.

The ending wasn’t very satisfying. I didn’t agree with Reveka’s choices at all, but I understood her way of thinking. Things were left open for a sequel, though, so maybe things will be properly resolved once and for all.

I liked seeing how Reveka interacted with her father. So often in MG/YA lit the parents are out of the picture. While Reveka starts her adventures out for the most part on her own, soon she has her dad joining her, and the way they interacted and their relationship grew was convincing, while a teensy bit cheesy.

The magic and mystery surrounding the princesses and their curse are exciting and suspenseful. I think many readers, young and old, will find The Princess Curse an enjoyable adventure that they will not soon forget.



  1. I actually really liked this, although I agree that there are several confusing things going on: the sudden mythology stuff going on, for one. It just throws readers off when you fail to mention large parts of the plot like that. :D I also thought it was a bit ambiguous whether this was middle grade or young adult.

    1. I did enjoy it, but there were just a lot of small things that added up to something I didn't love. If it'd been marketed as young adult (and she was older), so many more things would've made sense, and I probably would've ended up liking it more.

  2. Ah! That sucks!!! The cover's cute though!


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