I received an ARC from the author, and I am so glad that I did. This is the best story I’ve read this year! I absolutely loved it!
The Jabberwocky Princess is the second book in the series but can be read as a standalone. I did not read Desperate Forest, the first book in the series, and I easily followed this story. Of course, I liked this book so much that I got Desperate Forest before I even finished reading The Jabberwocky Princess!
Yes, it’s that good!
Kainda is the daughter of a disgraced and missing monster-hunter. Rumors of his madness have tainted Kainda’s reputation, and though she works as a castle maid, her heart really lies in hunting monsters and finding out the truth about her father.
When a monster very much like the one rumored to have killed her father starts terrorizing a neighboring kingdom called Fernshire, the King of Fernshire seeks help. Much to Princess Opal’s dismay, the king offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to the person who defeats the monster. Prince Ander is sent by his father to assist Fernshire in the hopes of strengthening his own kingdom.
Prince Ander enlists the help of Kainda, who knows more about monsters than anyone, to accompany him and his troop of knights to Fernshire. Kainda is beyond happy to escape the confines of the castle and arranges to have her best friend and novice knight Larkin join them on their quest.
Can Prince Ander, who is known for being a less than responsible leader, slay the beast and claim his princess? Will Kainda ever find out what happened to her father? Will the princess of Fernshire find her happily ever after?
Filled with rich characters, an intriguing plot, mysterious royalty, mystical creatures, and nail-biting action, this is a story that will captivate you from the first chapter.
The story is told from two female perspectives – Kainda’s and Princess Opal’s. I liked seeing what was happening from dual perspectives. It added to the character development and suspense and also progressed the plot. Additionally, by switching perspectives, you can see the similarities between the two young women.
Though Kainda and Opal are very different, they are both trapped in their own way. Opal is confined by the social expectations of nobility, and Kainda is constrained by the rumors of her father. They both long to be free and to follow their dreams but are held back. Kainda and Opal are from different kingdoms and different classes, yet they share the same fighting spirit and desire to be in charge of their own futures. I like how these strong and brave young women grow and change throughout the story.
I also liked the two love stories. There is nothing more sweet and refreshing than a new and budding romance. When that love is frowned upon by the societal norms, it makes the story even more interesting. I found myself rooting for these young couples and hoping that they would each have their happy ending.
Messages of female empowerment and equality permeate the story. I love that both of the major male characters in the novel are staunch supporters of gender equality. They treat their respective love interests as equals and often defer to the females for assistance or support.
Another aspect of the book that I really liked is that it is appropriate for all ages. I can easily see a middle school-aged reader enjoying this book as much as a young adult or adult. The writing is descriptive and engaging, the characters are likable and interesting, and the themes are universal and poignant.
I can’t say enough about The Jabberwocky Princess. This is a wonderfully written story with great imagery and depth. Stylistically, it flows beautifully with smooth transitions and skillful utilization of imagery and foreshadowing. It is definitely my favorite read of 2020, and I look forward to reading more by this talented author!
- appeals to all ages
- positive messages about gender equality
- interesting story and characters
- unique setting and mythical creatures
- romantic love stories
Readers from middle school and up will love this delightfully captivating fantasy tale! There is some violence, as the main characters are hunting a deadly monster, but there is not so much to make it disturbing. If you like fairy tales, fantasy stories, monster hunting, or references to Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem, then this is the book for you!