Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A True Princess by Diane Zahler

trueThe author, Diane Zahler, spins a beautiful fairytale with golden threads of magic, adventure, and romance all intertwined. A True Princess is based on H.C. Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea, but contains traces of other folktales and ancient Norse myths also.  Lilia arrives in a basket floating down a millstream, just like the hero in The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs by the Brothers Grimm. The babies in both stories are rescued and adopted by families.  Lilia is very different from the children in her adopted family.  She is not good at performing even the simplest tasks of cooking or cleaning.  She has trouble staying awake to do her chores because she never gets enough sleep on her hard, lumpy farm bed.  When she overhears her foster parents planning to get rid of her, Lilia decides to take charge of her own life.  Something urges her to follow the river to the North Kingdom, where she might have come from.  As Lilia journeys northward, she is joined by her brother and sister and the loyal family dog.  Thus begins their adventure together through the magic Bitra Forest, the realm of the elf-king, who captures them.  How Lilia outwits the elf-king and bravely rescues all the children from his evil spell is a marvelous story. A True Princess is a fairytale filled with adventure, betrayal, and heroic deeds, as a young girl with a brave and loving heart finds her way home.  Review by Trudy Walsh

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