« Book Report: Enchanted Glass | Main | Book Report: And Another Thing... »

Book Report: The Runaway Princess

Your Humble Blogger actually wanted to read the sequel to Kate Coombs’s’es The Runaway Princess, but thought it would be right to read the first one first. And having read the first one, I’m still interested in reading the sequel, so that’s all right.

The book feels quite dated to me, in that it not only has a beautiful princess who is out to save the wicked witch from the brave prince, but makes a big deal of how the beautiful princess wants to save the wicked witch from the brave prince. Her refusal to bow to the partriarchal demands are admirable, but hardly surprising at this point, thirty years after The Paper Bag Princess. It would be more surprising, at this point, to have a story where the princess wasn’t initially outraged by the promise of her hand and half the kingdom to the prince who vanquishes the witch. It’s wouldn’t be better, mind you, but it would be a surprise. It would even be a surprise if such a story were told from the point of view of the prince, and we didn’t find out her reaction until later.

That said, I don’t need surprises; I like that some of the worst aspects of fairy-tale patriarchy have become so successfully subverted. And the book is fun. The invisibility potion is terrific; the wizard is great fun; the characters are likable and nicely differentiated, with even the bad ones different in different ways. I am looking forward to the second one, although perhaps not until Spring.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,