Title: The Unhandsome Prince
Author: John Moore
Publisher: ACE Fantasy
Copyright Date: 2005
Print Date: May 2005
Book Description (from back cover):
And they lived happily never after...Comments:
Caroline's plan to live happily ever after has hit a snag. She's spent months mapping the swamp, building tadpole nets, and kissing every frog she could get her hands on, and one has finally turned into a prince. Unfortunately, Prince Hal is not, as promised in the fairy tales, particularly handsome. In fact, he's kind of dorky=looking.
Hale himself isn't very eager to marry a girl so obsessed with appearances, but he finds that a lot of people have a stake in his impending nuptuals — including a sorceress in training, an irritating dwarf, and Hal's own royal family, who seem to have misplaced large portions of the treasury. But the biggest reason for him to marry Caroline, true love be darned, is that if he doesn't, it's back to the lily pads for him — permanently...
I saw this for sale at Dollar General, and after reading the back cover, I had to take it home. I started it right away, and found it as humerous as I hoped. Actually, I thought it's be the perfect book for a Tuesday Teaser with some slight but witty humorous lines slipped in throughout. Unfortunately, I was at work (which means means work computer, which means no blogging) and then forgot. ::shrug::
Anyway, it's one of those twists on fairy tale stories, and I seem to really enjoy those. The characters are likeable — if you look at the big picture. If you look at the little details, you're likely to run into their flaws, and those aren't so pretty.
When Caroline (girl who kissed frog), Hal (unhandsome prince), and Emily (sorceress apprentice) arrive in the city of Melinower, the girls and reader meet Prince Hal's brothers. The story also takes a turn in description that I didn't expect, until I realized this is a male author describing boys (or young men... I don't think it mentions age). It took some adjustment, but wasn't bad.
This next bit may be a bit spoilerish, but I have to comment...
And then, Hal's oldest brother, Kenny, gets the idea to make money by expelling the Jews. His theory is that the Jews are also the money lenders, and if they've been kicked out, they can't collect on debts the royal family owes. *blink* I was like, woah, we're talking strong social commentary, no? Where did that come from in this fairy tale (kinda) story? Now the heroes of the story (that is, the 3 we've been following and Hal's other brother Jeff), obviously must stop this. But it kind of threw me a little off.
Nevertheless, I continued reading, and overall, I found it a fun read — despite some jarringly real moments.