Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?
I could go on an on about these characters, but for your sakes I will keep it brief...ish. Reveka is only thirteen, but demonstrates the maturity of those who have dealt primarily with adults their whole lives.. In fact, often times she was more mature than the adults around her, demonstrating her true character by staying true to what she believed and being willing to sacrifice for those she loved. Her age provided a perfect perspective for the plot. There was an interesting dynamic between Reveka and her father, an irritation/adoration type of thing, but his motives were seamless. At first I suspected Minhas (a former cowherd) of being a hero of the story, and in a way he is. But he's not the stereotypical hero type, and he's much better because of that. And Dragos was perfect, as a character. His strengths and flaws gave him a visible depth. His past is incredibly intriguing.
Characters: 5 Stars
This plot is a remix of Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast. The Twleve Dancing princesses portion would be fairly standard, except it doesn't take place from the perspective of the princesses. Rather, they are under a curse, shrouded in mystery from which countless have fallen into a comatose state. But breaking this curse is only the half the plot. The rest is even better, but if I tell you, it would be a bit of a spoiler.
Plot: 5 Stars
I found this book in the library's junior fiction section, but it can easily be enjoyed by all ages. Merrie Haskell does a marvelous job of keeping the fairy tales' classic feel while introducing her own flair and sense of style. Reveka's engaging matter-of-fact manner mixed with the creative worlds Merrie Haskell paints make this book a definite re-read.
Style: 5 Stars
Rating: 5 Stars