Saturday, August 13, 2011

A true princess by Diane Zahler

Lilia was found floating down the river as a small child, and the life she has with Jorgen and his family is the only life she can remember.  She loves Jorgen as a father, and Kai and Karina like a real brother and sister, but nothing she does is good enough for Jorgens wife Ylva.  When Ylva wants to trade her as a servant to the miller in exchange for money and flour, Lilia decides to run away to the North, to try and find the family she has never known.  Joining her on her quest are Kai and Karina, but it is a quest that will lead them into danger.  When they stray into the Bitra Forest, Kai catches the attention of the beautiful and cruel Elf Kings Daughter who wants to keep him as a pet.  To gain his freedom Lilia strikes a dangerous bargain, she has just two weeks to find something that was lost long ago, something hidden in a local palace.  Can Lilia find the hidden treasure and save the only brother she has ever known?

This was a simple yet charming read, having all the elements of a classical fairytale (especially one little lumpy piece) while also having enough twists to keep readers interested in what will happen next.  Lilia is a lovable character, and Kai and Karina are the perfect supporting characters for her, adding a warmth and depth to the story that would be missing if it was just Lilia on her own.  I saw parts of the story coming from miles away, but as an adult I have a greater knowledge of traditional tales and fairytales.  For children in the 8 - 12 year age range that this book is aimed at, there should still be some surprises for them.  This is a lovely little read for older children too who struggle a little with their reading.

If you like this book then try:
  • Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
  • The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee
  • The secret prince by D. Anne Love
  • The star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
  • Stolen children of Quentaris by Gary Crew
  • The lost castle by Michael Pryor
  • The familiars by Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson

Reviewed by Brilla

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