Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirsten Pulioff

**My general disclaimer before all reviews: Take a look at my 

to understand how my reviews work, and the general rubric I use. I give very honest reviews, and while I'm not New York Times critic harsh, I do try to keep it real.** 

The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirsten Pulioff

The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life of privilege, royalty, and boredom... a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King, determined to keep her freedom. Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. With the kingdom in turmoil; her Knight Champion, a group of suitors, and the exiled wizards join forces to rescue her. Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure full of twists and turns as she finds freedom and love.

My Review

 My Rating: 9/10
Cleanliness Rating: 5/5

So, disclaimer here: Kirsten is a fellow author also published by Caliburn Books, the imprint publishing company of Malachite Quills Publishing. So although she is, essentially, a "work" colleague of mine, I assure you, my review here is completely honest and forthright. That's how I roll.
As is evident by my rating (rounding up to a 5 star review on Amazon) I seriously enjoyed this book! It was kind of refreshing, actually. And I have a feeling that this will be a short review, and that's a good thing. 

I mean, what can I say? Well-written, fast-paced, and entirely appropriate for its target audience (middle grade fantasy), this short but succinct novel (novella? It was maybe a little between a novella and a novel) tells a delightful tale of a naive princess who learns the real meaning of freedom. Kirsten gives her characters a sufficient amount of depth to make them genuinely likeable, and she leaves room for much, much more to come.

It's funny because as I first started reading it, I thought, "Yikes, this kid needs a reality check." Thankfully, the author makes sure she learns that lesson (none too kindly, either) along with a few others as well. And I will stress that this is a middle grade book here, so the plot is quite straight-forward, as is the writing. But I found that the simplicity didn't bother me--I could sense that it was purposefully done, and done well at that.

And she's cranking these puppies out fast, let me tell ya! Our first books were published at the same time, but she's already got her second out and a third almost ready to publish. So the good news is if you're like me and chomping at the bit to continue the story, you can! (Unlike this author here who took a year between books. Lazy me! :p) 

But seriously. This is a great book, especially if you've got teens or even older children looking for an adventure. I can't wait to read more about Princess Madeline and her discovery of self, life, and worth.

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