Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

The Ordinary Princess
by M.M. Kaye

Genre: Fairy Tale | Juvenile Fantasy

All Across the Kingdom, excitement is running high: a seventh princess, always the luckiest and most beautiful of all, has just been born to good King Huldebrand and Her Majesty Queen Rodehesia. When the christening day arrives, the little princess is showered with the most extravagant, marvelous presents imaginable -- until her last, most powerful fairy godmother proclaims/gifts her as ordinary. And so she is. Princess Amy look so ordinary, so unprincesslike, that no prince can be found to marry her. The King and Queen are desperate. But Amy knows that she doesn't want to be wed to a royal stranger, and runs away from home, embarking on a most extraordinary adventure for the Ordinary Princess!

Along with Wit, Charm, Health, and Courage, Princess Amy of Phantasmorania receives a special fairy christening gift: Ordinariness. Unlike her six beautiful sisters, she has brown hair and freckles, and would rather have adventures than play the harp, embroider tapestries . . . or become a Queen. When her royal parents try to marry her off, Amy runs away and, because she's so ordinary, easily becomes the fourteenth assistant kitchen maid at a neighboring palace. And there . . . much to everyone's surprise . . . she meets a prince just as ordinary (and special) as she is!

"Lavender's blue,
Rosemary's green,
When I am King
You shall be Queen"

What an adorable book!!!! I've heard great things about this child's story for awhile now and never read it as a young girl, yet I picked it up from my local library and feel in love with the tale. Amy (aka Her Serene and Royal Highness the Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne) was born into pomp and circumstance, she had a "very grand nursery" (pg 5) and "had no less than twelve attendants all her own" (pg 6) She was also the youngest of her sisters who were all "blond, blue-eyed, and beautiful, with lovely figures and complexions and extravagantly long hair" Yet, Amy was gifted with "something that [would] probably bring [her] more happiness than all [the other] fal-lals and fripperies put together" . . . "You shall be Ordinary!" (pg 16) As she grew, gone was the use of her extravagant name, her curls became straighter & darker, her blue eyes became gray-ish-brown and "her nose got frecklier and frecklier in spite of all the Queen's lily lotions and lemon juice." (pg 27) Since she never had as much attention granted to her because of her "not-so-goodish" self, she was able to escape into the forest to play and feel in love with climbing trees and making friends with the animals and when she discovered a secret plot about her family and her future - she decided to run away to live a life she has always dreams off. She never expected to befriend a prince along the way and actually fall in love with someone who loved her for herself and not her royal-lifestyle. So sweet!

Expect a quick read that has lots of wonderful illustrations and rich detailed settings. Many of the characters are very likable, while some strongly annoying, but written well overall. The tale runs smoothly and interestingly enough that you easily become absorbed in Amy's easy-going agenda. The romance is sweet and innocent and I wish I had more upon finishing, great stuff!!

Likes: Amy was such an empowering character, she never let her "gift" become a bad thing in her eyes and thought of it always as a blessing when to everyone else in her kingdom, it was a curse.

Dislikes: It was sad how unsupporting the parents were, esp. her father's use of the word "rash" UGH!


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