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Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious, extraordinary tale by the author of the Dairy Queen trilogy and Princess Ben.
Princess Wisdom, known as Dizzy, longs for a life of adventure beyond the staid old
kingdom of Montagne.
Tips, a soldier, longs to keep his true identity a secret.
Fortitude, an orphaned maid, longs only for Tips.
These three souls might possibly attain their dreams while preserving their empire from ruin — if only they can bear one another’s company long enough to come up with a plan.
Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious tale told in diaries, letters, encyclopedia entries, and even a play, all seamlessly stitched together by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen and Princess Ben.
A peasant girl named Trudy (short for “Fortitude”) is in love with her childhood friend, Tips. Tips loves the beautiful Princess Wisdom – nicknamed Dizzy by her family – whom Trudy serves. But Wisdom is engaged to another young man, Roger – a relationship schemed up by the Duchess of Farina, Roger’s mother, who will stop at nothing to get her hands on the throne of Montagne.
Have you heard the old adage ‘too many cooks spoil the soup?’ Well, I’d like to amend that a bit to suit this novel: too many narrators spoil a book. Catherine Gilbert Murdock decided to write this novel, an indirect sequel to her previous book Princess Ben, through a series of letters, memoirs, diary excerpts and encyclopedia entries. The result is a cacophony of voices as events are narrated by Trudy’s daughter (remembering events of her mother’s life), Felis El Gato the Swordsman, an anonymous playwright, the Duchess of Farina, The Imperial Encyclopedia of Lax, Tips, the Queen Mother of Mantagne, and Princess Dizzy. At first the perspective changes were interesting, but the deeper I went into the book the more it seemed that the novelty of encyclopedia entries and play extracts were trying to cover up a severe lack of plot. Not much happens, and this is made all the more apparent by the rehashing of key scenes by multiple sources. Further, the brevity of each chapter and the constantly revolving door of narrators made it extremely difficult for any character development to occur. The impressions of Princess Wisdom and Tips and Trudy are fleeting and shallow…and ultimately, disappointing.
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