Fairytales are among my favorite things. There is something about the fact that you can count on the good guys to always win. The prince will always rescue the princess and the dragon will be slayed.
I assume that I am not alone in my love of these famous stories. After all, it seems as if a new and updated version of a fairytale is always being released as a new movie. But there are also a number of them being retold by authors today.
Melanie Dickerson has been an author who has been on my list for awhile to read. It’s hard for me to squeeze in books that I want to read for fun, so when review opportunities come up, I take them. While “The Frog Prince” isn’t one of my favorite fairytales, I was still interested enough to immerse myself in this retelling of it.
**I received a copy of this book from BookLook Blogging in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story. Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin’s message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself “Lord Colin” is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy—not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she’s sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.
“I must be wise and shrewd and brave. And I’ve never been wise or shrewd or brave in my life.”
-Margaretha, The Princess Spy
Characters: The characters in this story were probably my biggest struggle. Claybrook never quite seemed to have a reason for putting his traitorous plans into action. For me, it just seemed hard to take him to be as threatening as he needed to be to maintain a level of tension in the story. On the other hand, I really enjoyed Margaretha. It isn’t very often that characters are extremely chatty in novels. She was, and it really helped her to come alive off of the page.
Storyline: The basis of this story was pretty entertaining. There were enough opportunities to events to take place that raised the stakes of the story just a bit more. The plot moved forward smoothly, and by the end, we weren’t left with any loose threads.
My Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed the novel, but there were a few things that just felt like they were missing for me. One thing, was some solid tension. For some reason, I never felt like I needed to race to the next page to find out if the character would get out of a particular situation. There also didn’t seem to be too much romantic tension. Also, like I mentioned above, the “bad guy” never came across as all that “bad.”
I did enjoy the unfolding story, though. There were a couple of moments where some unexpected things occurred. While the classic version of the Frog Prince can be seen within the pages, this novel brings new life to that story.
This book is part of a series. I have not read any of the other books and followed everything just fine. There are references to characters from the other books, but nothing that would be considered spoilers for those books.
About the Author:
Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.
- Melanie Dickerson’s Website
- Visit Melanie Dickerson on Facebook
- Follow Melanie Dickerson on Twitter
- Read what Melanie Dickerson is reading on GoodReads
- Check out The Princess Spy on Amazon