Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Princess of the Silver Woods - Jessica Day George

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
Series: Princess Trilogy #3
Genre: YA, fairytale retelling
Published on December 11, 2012
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 326
Read From: 1.10.13 - 1.11.13

Princess Petunia has been kidnapped! Except. . . .it was really more like an accident. Oliver, the leader of a band of thieves known as the Wolves of the Westfalian Woods, didn't mean to do it. And now he must make things right. He will confess to the king and deliver the princess to the grand duchess's estate. 
But Petunia's safety is far from secured. As children, she and her eleven sisters had been cursed to dance endlessly at the midnight ball of the fearsome King Under Stone. Troubling dreams of the ball are once again haunting Petunia, and she can't be sure they are mere nightmares. When she and her sisters fall into a carefully laid trap, who but a handsome woodsman can save the day?


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Despite the fact that the character impersonator is staring me out of countenance, I do like the cover. It’s pretty, and very indicative of sort of story the book contained.

Characters: Just like Poppy and Rose, Petunia is spunky, strong, and brave without having The Attitude. And while she shares these similarities of the previous protagonists of the trilogy, Petunia has a distinct personality from them. Poppy wasn’t afraid to do what was necessary; Rose maintained a regal state in order to hide her fear and weaknesses. Petunia will do what is necessary, but she doubts her own personal strength a great deal. The only thing that frustrated me with Petunia was her continued trust in the duchess, right up to the very end, when it was so bloody obvious that Petunia shouldn‘t trust her. I just had a hard time believing Petunia was that dense. While Oliver isn’t Galen (it’s extremely hard to top Galen), he was my second-favorite leading male. The poor guy tried so hard to do something successfully, and something entirely out of his control would cause it to wrong. He may be a thief, but he has honor and provides for his people in the only way he knows, and then bravely faces the wrath of King Gregor to right his criminal wrongs, knowing full well that he might be executed for it. I couldn’t help but like Oliver. Rionin wasn’t as scary as the previous King Under Stone, and Kestilan and the other princes’ fear of what the girls were capable of doing to them made them less formidable. Still, I wouldn’t want to encounter them on a dark night.

The Romance: I was supportive of Petunia and Oliver’s attachment from the beginning, and didn’t trust Grigori at all. I, in fact, could not understand Petunia’s fascination with him because he immediately struck me as creepy and even a little scary. More so, perhaps, than Kestilan. This is a fairytale retelling, so romance on center stage is expected. Surprisingly, though, Oliver and Petunia’s growing affection is rather subtle and doesn’t at all get in the way of the otherwise exciting adventure. It worked, because the Reader knows right off that Oliver is the “No. 1 guy” for the story, so spending a lot of time of “do I like him or do I like him?” would be a waste of time. It would create unnecessary suspense in an area that is obvious.

Plot: Being the final book in the trilogy, it was a great idea to bring the King Under Stone back. It brought the series to a full circle, and while the King Under Stone’s goal is pretty much the same as it was before, the story still feels new and fresh. There were times when I was genuinely afraid for some of the characters, because I wouldn’t put it past the Author to kill some people off. All of the princesses and their respective husbands (Galen included!) are back for a “final showdown,” which I loved immensely. Galen wasn’t, in my opinion, in Princess of Glass nearly enough, but his presence in this one completely made up for that.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: As always, Jessica Day George’s style is simple, but pleasant, with gentle humor that is genuinely funny, and perfect for the book. She has a real gift with characters, and I loved how she blended aspects of The Twelve Dancing PrincessesLittle Red Riding Hood, and even Robin Hood together so perfectly. The pieces she borrowed from each traditional and well-known story can be picked out, but aren’t horribly obvious.

Content: None.

Conclusion: The end was a rousing, exciting, fast-paced conclusion. I had a moment of fear for Galen and Rose’s lives. It was a perfect end for this wonderful trilogy, and this wonderful book. While Princess of the Midnight Ball will always be my favorite out of the three (because Galen is the principle character), Princess of the Silver Woods follows close behind. I am sad to bid farewell to the world of the twelve sisters and Galen, but I definitely walk away satisfied.

Recommended Audience: Fans of fairytale retellings, especially previous Readers of Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass. Girl-read, twelve and up.

Others in This Trilogy:
1)Princess of the Midnight Ball
2)Princess of Glass
3)Princess of the Silver Woods

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