“The King of Brookshire has died, leaving his seventeen-year-old daughter Maria in possession of the throne. Dark secrets lie buried in the most unlikely places. Loyalty is stretched to the breaking point. Lives are at stake. In this dramatic retelling of the classic Cinderella story, nothing is as it seems.”
So, this all started last summer when a dear friend of mine published a book. As a setting of one of my favorite classic fairytales, I knew I wanted to read it as soon as I could and accordingly, last summer it accompanied me on my road trip across the country. I’ve now read it a total of about three times! (And a quick note before we get properly started: I’m reviewing the first edition here, but Victoria is also planning a second edition with a few changes.)
But now for my thoughts! *Warning: there will be spoilers in the following.*
The Princess and the Prince is about love and friendship, and it’s about friendship as the foundation of love. Exploring fear, uncertainty, and betrayal, it’s also full to the brim and running over with faithfulness and forgiveness.
The narrative moves between the main characters, but the ending is never a foregone conclusion. Instead, with several surprising plot twists, the tension skillfully mounts to the riveting climax—a climax thoroughly and completely satisfying. Going through depths of heartache and loss, the story reaches finally to an earthshaking joy.
Through it all, I keep returning to this quote midway through the book, pulling so much of it together:
“…She had been grateful. She had called it friendship. Was friendship a meaningless word? Had she lied? Had she called herself Charles’s friend flippantly? She had felt serious and deep and mature when she had said it. And now she saw that her thoughts had been empty. What exactly was Maria Hale’s definition of friendship? Cheerful conversation, comforting words, smiles, laughter, good memories? Where was the other side of reality in that picture?”
The descriptions throughout are excellent. Here's another favorite quote:
“If he didn't leave the room soon, he would start a war.
…Adam reached his bedroom, shut the door behind him and turned the key in the lock. His first thought was to find something to throw—something that would shatter satisfyingly against the mantel of his fireplace or the stone hearth.”
The texture there is delightful… I love it!
The prince and princess are both wonderful—perfect and perfectly flawed—while the romance between them is utterly beautiful—fresh, real and lovely. And the ending…the ending is superb, but any more on that score would be way too much of a spoiler!! ;)
In conclusion, full of uncertainty and change, a romance exploring the true meaning of friendship and forgiveness, a longer retelling of a fairytale (retaining still the shining mystery at its heart), The Princess and the Prince is an entire joy from beginning to end—I highly recommend it!
(It’s available here. Also be sure to check out Victoria’s blog at Hopewriter: Reading, Writing, Loving Stories.)