Monday, February 4, 2013

A POSSE OF PRINCESSES


Review of A POSSE OF PRINCESSES by SHERWOOD SMITH

It's clear from the first chapter that Princess Rhis might want different things for herself than what her family wants for her. Then the story sweeps her away from home to a grand coming-of-age party for a prince that not only includes a collection of young royalty but excludes those pesky adults who drive Rhis so crazy. You can't blame her for being excited!

I found the primary plotline remarkably predictable, but the secondary plotlines and the wide cast of fun, believable characters saved the book for me. The characters bring to life what could be a stale story. Rhis is arguably one of the most introverted of the group, though she can be social and she's always intelligent, good-natured, and welcoming. She has a knack for noticing who's being left out of the fun and making room for everyone to enjoy themselves. Aside from Rhis, the party includes an abundant cast of young princes and princesses, not to mention male scribes whom the prince has enlisted to participate simply to even out the girl:boy ratio. And, as one would expect with a huge group of unsupervised teenagers, complications ensure.

I can't be too specific if I want to avoid spoilers, but let me say that Taniva stole the show from my perspective. She plays a minor role through most of the story and from a distance can seem almost cookie cutter "tough princess," but she steps forward when it counts. She (and her relationship with an individual who shall remain nameless for spoiler reasons) made me laugh aloud many a time and I still can't think back on her without cracking a grin.

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