Book for August: The Unhandsome Prince; John Moore.
This is the second of three books borrowed from someone else, and kept for a terribly long time. But now it’s read, and can go back to its owner
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A prince is turned into a frog, and only a kiss will turn him back. Caroline kissed frogs for days until she found him. But Prince Hal isn’t as handsome as she was promised–he’s a little short, has a weak chin, and his ears stick out–and he’s the third, least favored son, so he’s not likely to be king. She travels with him and a sorceress apprentice, Emily, to try to figure out what she wants for her future.
But if she doesn’t marry Hal–or fall in love and marry someone else–he’ll turn back into a frog forever. And the kingdom has other problems, which if Hal can’t fix them, will make life very difficult for many people in the kingdom.
A light, fairly predictable fantasy–which gently mocks the idea of the original frog prince story. The opening pages had me laughing, as it described Caroline’s prince-finding strategy, and that wasn’t the only moment that made me smile, as humorous moments are peppered throughout. Fairy tale and plot are both dealt with a healthy sense of humor, without going far into a stranger and different territory. Some story turns are a little unexpected, though they still follow some predictable paths if you pay attention to the hints.
The characters are easily enough to like, if a little basic. Most can be identified by a single personality trait, which drives most of their behavior. However, the story is engaging, a quick easy read, leading to a nice happily-ever after.