Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Pages [hardcover]: 344
Opening Lines: Having for many decades been forced to endure ever more ridiculous tales of the circumstances of my coming of age , holding my tongue through each long-winded narrative for fear that my cautious interjections would only prolong the blather, I now in the solitude of my dotage at last permit myself the indulgence of correcting the erroneous legends and embroidered falsehoods that to this day expand, heady as yeast, across the land.
Memorable Quote: “And have your mother put my head on a stake? Do you have any notion what that would do to my handsome good looks?”
Favorite Character: Prince Florian
A girl is transformed, through instruction in life at court, determination, and magic, from sullen, pudgy, graceless Ben into Crown Princess Benevolence, a fit ruler of the kingdom of Montagne as it faces war with neighboring Drachensbett.
I’ve looked forward to reading this for a few months, and though I wasn’t especially disappointed, I wasn’t wholly impressed, either. Princess Ben tells of your not-so-average princess, who isn’t as skinny, graceful, or well-mannered as we all imagine princesses to be. In fact, she rejects the idea of being a princess and does all that she can to stay away from those duties.
It was refreshing having such a different leading protagonist as Ben. She’s not obsessed with appearances and is determined to remain independent. She can be a bit annoying at times-whining and prattling on-but for the most part, she’s a good character.
The plot, full of magic, dragons, and handsome [if potentially evil] princes, I loved. It started out a little slow, but picked up around the middle. There are parts of the story that have ties with other fairy tales-Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc. I was trying to count how many I spotted! 🙂
Overall, this was an okay novel. Not one you have to run out and get right away, but perfectly fine if you’ve nothing else to read. Princess Ben gets 3/5 stars.