Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

The Princess Curse, by Merrie Haskell, was a fun, light read.  The story is told from the point of view of Reveka, a young and sassy herbalist apprentice.  Though she is impatient with the conventions and restrictions of her role in life, she is an excellent herbalist, and attempts to use her plant knowledge to cure the mysteriously ailing princesses, who disappear every night and return exhausted and with their slippers worn through.

Her meddling brings her to the attention of the queen, who encourages her to keep trying.  As Reveka learns more about the history of the curse and the affect it's had on the entire kingdom, her worry increases, and she's drawn more and more intimately into the princesses' lives.

The story evolves about midway through to become a more recognizably Beauty and the Beast adaptation, with a strong flavor of Persephone thrown into the mix.  I loved the blend and the reasoning and the way the two tied together to make a strange underworld for Reveka to explore.

I think I would have liked more detail about the kingdom and its neighbors, and some more of the complexity of the political situation to come through in the story -- but I do think the book is suitable for younger readers and as such, readers who are (old) like me will find it a pretty quick read.

Definitely a delightful take on two of my favorite fairy tales.


  1. combines The 12 Dancing Princess and Beauty and the Beast? Those are two of my favorites too, and now I'm so intrigued...

    1. Yes, and I'd say a dash of Persephone as well! :)

    2. Just finished reading this one--loved it! Thanks so much for the suggestion.