Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursentary: Thrice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Fun Fact: I’m gonna put my announcements at the top because I know this part is easier to read than the bottom part.
Announcement 1—I guest posted at Baiting a Musetrap yesterday! Go take a peek!
Announcement 2Be here Saturday. Someone is going to be posting a particular piece that will introduce a new web series—stay tuned!

Okay, now you can read the review.

I don’t know when I first read Once Upon a Marigold. I just know that I loved it. As you may remember during September, my princess month, I learned the final book of the trilogy had been published earlier last year—obviously, I had to read it immediately.

Let’s just say it was immensely enjoyable.

Star Rating: 4/5
Because: healthy romantic relationships, disagreement, father power, not a lot of baby drama, lots of respect, perfect world with realistic problems, second chances, dragon with allergies, royal duties, bravery, motivated bad guys, party scene, carpe dium

via Goodreads
The Rundown (via Goodreads)

“Princess Poppy, the bouncing baby daughter of Queen Marigold and King Christian of Zandelphia-Beaurivage, is in terrible danger. The kingdom’s former torturer-in-chief and poisoner-in-chief have joined forces to kidnap the baby as an act of revenge for their exile! Can a ragtag parade of rescuers—including the king and queen, the evil kidnappers’ mortified children, five dogs, a white elephant, and a washed-up wizard—save Princess Poppy in time?”

Spekalation: Why It Was Awesome (Top 13 Edition)

1. healthy romantic relationships :: do you know how much faith Jean Ferris gives me when she writes these amazing romances? Yeah, they kiss and stuff, but Christian apologizes as soon as he realizes he done messed up; Marigold works hard to be kind rather than create conflict. How true love is that?

2. disagreement :: on that note, Christian and Marigold disagree sometimes. A lot of times the idea of disagreement isn’t breached in fairy tales, or else it becomes a huge conflict. Ferris’s couples don’t have to agree on everything to love each other, or to make their relationship work.

3. father power :: Swithbert is an integral father figure—to everyone, always. He loves all his daughters, though none are his by blood, and when they all grow up, he decides to become an adoptive uncle to Phoebe and Sebastian because they never had good paternal role models growing up. I love him.

4. not a lot of baby drama :: babies are interesting people, but they are also very dramatic. Poppy does get kidnapped, which is dramatic, but what I mean is that Jean Ferris didn’t spend a lot of time talking about how long the labor was or how many painstaking hours it took for Poppy to roll over or anything like that. Christian and Marigold surprisingly act like normal people for new parents.

5. lots of respect :: Christian and Marigold insist on a human respect for other people, period. They’re kind people, generous, and understanding—people are given the chance to be humans.

6. perfect world with realistic problems :: fairy tales are often criticized for being “too perfect,” and I think Jean Ferris remedies this perfectly. The land is ruled by perfect idealisms and good people, but sometimes there are bad people and unforeseen problems that simply have to be dealt with—which is really how our fantasy stories ought to be.

7. second chances :: people are judged by their own actions, but they are also given the chance to remedy their behavior and become a functional and important part of society. There’s always time for change until you die—which is an excellent theme.

8. dragon with allergies :: I just find the idea of a dragon allergic to the forest it lives in so funny. And that she falls in love with an elephant. Crazier things have happened!

9. royal duties :: the king and queen do actually have jobs as royals, and they take their responsibilities very seriously—which is cool. Too many fairy tale royals spend all their time focusing on themselves and not their people (like Olympia in the first book, come to think of it).

10. bravery :: everyone has a different scale of bravery, and I always love how the characters ultimately decide that their fears are not as important as the deeds that must be done.

11. motivated bad guys :: the villains, in this case, are miffed about being fired, but even though they are a little “normal” as villains go, they serve as decent contrasts to Christian and Marigold themselves.

12. party scene :: at the end, there’s a baby party. And it’s nice that the gifts are given with more reasonable grace under the guests’ watch—you’d think fairies are stupid with the silly gifts they give.

13. carpe dium :: as always, Jean Ferris writes the best happily ever afters.

I had forgotten how long it had been since I read these books, so I was a little surprised, actually, when I realized Thrice Upon a Marigold is written for a much younger audience (I’m getting old…). Still, I think people of all ages would do well to read a refreshing fairy tale like this one.

That being said, I suggest you go read it. Carpe dium!

Have you read the Marigold Trilogy? What did you think? If not, do you think you might want to read a fairy tale like this?

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