Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursentary: Speed Dating

Flickr Credit: info_grrl

It’s like speed dating, but with book reviews!

I went through the shelves in my room and looked for the books that are about or feature princesses, and here they are! Each mini-tary has a one-sentence summary, a two-thought review, and a star rating for each. Enjoy!
via Goodreads

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Ella, a girl cursed with mandatory obedience, suffers at the hands of her evil stepfamily and must find a way to protect her nation’s prince from her own power.
Gail Carson Levine never fails to charm me with her stories, and the wit and excitement of Ella Enchanted makes it a cozy bedtime read. Bonus points for Ella’s curse as the antag.
Star Rating: 4/5

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Rumors and killing are all Katsa knows before she meets Prince Po, but their travels together blow her former life out of the water, and they must fight the worst enemy they never knew they had.
Okay, this has one of the scariest antagonists I’ve ever read, in a bad way—which is good. The story kept me on edge and I definitely lost sleep because of this book.
Star Rating: 3/5

via Goodreads
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Scarlet combats Prince John’s evil government under the leadership of the infamous Robin Hood, but the arrival of Guy of Gisbourne is about to change her role in Robin’s band forever.
I’ve talked about this book before, but it never hurts to reiterate that I love it. The suspense, the dreaminess, and the joy—especially because Lion Heart is coming out soon!
Star Rating: 5/5

[Note: I also own Lady Thief, and although it made me want to go back in time and personally murder Prince John, it was also very good.]

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
True love faces the ultimate test as Princess Buttercup prepares to marry that bonehead Prince Humperdinck—just as she learns her late fiancé is not as dead as she thought.
That was an inadequate summary, but it sums up Buttercup’s part of the story. You merely need to know that, in my opinion, it fits the rule, “the book is better than the movie.”
via Goodreads
Star Rating: 4/5

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
Christian finds love when he starts corresponding with the beautiful Princess Marigold, and she with him, but unless they work around his status and her mother they will never be together.
This is the sweetest fairy tale. I love Jean Ferris’s other works as well, but this story was one of the first that gave me a bigger picture of what a fairy tale romance could be.
Star Rating: 4/5

[Note: I also own Twice Upon a Marigold, which is just as good and it has a much more realistic view of happily-ever-afters than most other stories—thank goodness. I have literally just learned that Thrice Upon a Marigold came out in April this year, I think—guess who just put it on hold at her library?]

The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
Will Treaty, an orphan accepted into Araluen’s Ranger Corps, completes an apprenticeship and enters his career, all the while working hard to protect his country, save his friends, and find his place in the lonesome world.
I did not read this books for months, and I regret that, because this is literally one of my favorite series ever. I think John Flanagan is secretly like an octopus who exists solely to create amazing stories by keeping loveable characters and painful plot devices stored in his tentacles.
Star Rating: 5/5

[Note: I own all twelve. None of them are disappointing.]
via Goodreads

The Odyssey by Homer
To put it bluntly, Odysseus wins the Trojan War, ticks of Poseidon and spends twenty years trying to get home so he can bust up his wife’s suitors.
It’s so much more poetic than that, but it’s an awesome way to really expose yourself to Greek Mythology and it’s just a great story. However, the poetry can make it kind of hard to read.
Star Rating: 4/5


The Myth-o-Mania Series by Kate McMullen
Zeus has got it all wrong, and Hades, king of the dead, is going to straighten out all the Greek myths—thank the gods.
These are probably meant for people in like, third grade, but I still read them sometimes. These are the stories that made me love Greek mythology, and that is a gift I shall never forget.
Star Rating: 3/5
via Goodreads

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Not only is Cinder an android, hated by her stepfamily, and unwanted everywhere, but there’s every chance that Lunar forces will invade any day now, and she’s falling in love with the one person who can stop it.
I’ve only read the first two books, but these are honestly great stories. Once I opened it up, I just couldn’t stop, and that was totally cool with me.
Star Rating: 4/5

The Cycle of Inheritance by Chris Paolini
When a dragon egg hatches for Eragon, he moves beyond his beginnings as a farmboy and becomes the most important piece in a political game of chess that will mean life or death for him—for everyone.
I wasn’t sure what I would think of these books some 3 or 4 years later, but I needn’t have worried. They’re still enticing, still crazy-making, and still an entertainment for one and for all.
Star Rating: 4/5
via Goodreads

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
Janner Igiby’s family is endangered not only by the horrible Fangs of Dang who have conquered all of Skree, but that they are also the remnants of the lost kingdom, Anneira, and if they wish to see freedom again they will have to fight to survive.
I like these books. At first they’re a little bit silly and better suited to a young audience, but Mr. Peterson does a good job cloaking the story in darkness without taking it too far from the light.
Star Rating: 4/5

The King Must Die by Mary Renault
The tale of Theseus told based off of archaeological facts, and where the myth might have once come.
If I was not stuck in Nebraska when I started this book, I might not have kept going. As it was, I ended up enjoying the tale from a historical POV, and was pleased I took it from that free books basket in the library.
Star Rating: 3/5
via Goodreads

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Frodo Baggins is bound to destroy the Ring of Power, which will destroy the evil lord Sauron—just so long as he can get deliver the ring to Mount Doom and survive.
Honestly, I can read one of these books in a day if you give me a family event, like a birthday party or a funeral. I like Aragorn’s story more than any of them, but it’s still something good to read, just for the sake of reading it.
Star Rating: 3.5/5

The Phantom Menace by Patricia C. Wrede
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker begin their long journey together here, as they first meet with Queen Amidala and seek to liberate Naboo from the Federation.
If you like the first trilogy, which I do, it’s not a bad read at all, and I love another series of Ms. Wrede’s—The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. It’s a good read, and gives an sideways perspective of what we saw in the movie.
Star Rating: 3/5

[Note: Okay, okay, she’s a queen, I don’t care, let’s get over ourselves, thank you.]

So, there’s that. You can take them, you can leave them, you can move on—after all, that’s what speed dating is all about!

Have you read any of these books? Did you love ‘em? Hate ‘em? What are your star ratings?


  1. I've always been fascinated by royalty. Maybe it's because it's so foreign; for Americans it's hard to conceive of hereditary class. What an interesting collection of books! I always thought Elizabeth II was a pretty badass real-life princess. She drove a truck in World War II. Hard to get more awesome than that.

    1. I definitely agree with you there—when the United States broke off from England we wouldn't even print royalty on our playing cards! I guess here in the 21st century, the crown is glamorous again.

      I do think Elizabeth II joining the war effort is awesome, though; kudos to her.

      Thanks for the comment, Cyprian!


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