Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rereading Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

How many times I have wondered what my fate might have been had I accompanied my parents that rainy spring morning.

I'm having memories right now. Princess Ben was the very first book that I ever checked out at the NOVA library, way back in sixth grade. (It seems so long ago, doesn't it? And yet, just yesterday at the same time.) I'm kind of tearing up; in fact, I am. I wasn't actually thinking about that when I checked it out again; I just wanted to reread, but then I realized...

Anyway, Princess Ben is a good, if very easy fantasy. It's the story of Princess Benevolence, or "Ben". Her parents and the king die on the aforementioned rainy day, assassinated, though her father's body is never found. Ben, the niece of the king, is left under the tyrannical thumb of Queen Sophia. She is the heir to the kingdom, as Sophia failed to produce any children. Sophia locks Ben, starved and miserable, into a tower, where Ben discovers a secret room with a magical book of spells. She begins to learn sorcery. But there is a mortal threat to the kingdom, and Ben must save herself and her country.

Having just read Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, I was kind of annoyed at the typical "orphan" story-line. But the book wouldn't really have worked otherwise. I enjoyed Ben's character the second time around, and I was really mad at Sophia for how plain awful she was towards Ben. I remembered the basic plot from two years ago, but not the details, so it was almost like I was reading the book afresh. Catherine Gilbert Murdock is also the author of Dairy Queen, a very different novel. If I remember correctly, it's about a girl who plays football and lives in the countryside. I really don't remember the specifics. Maybe I'll reread that too.

Read Princess Ben:
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like Catherine Gilbert Murdock
344 pages.
Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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