Review of THE PRINCESS TEST by GAIL CARSON LEVINE
(second in THE PRINCESS TALES series)
Lorelei would be a helpful person if she could, but she’s tragically too fragile to be much help with anything! Since infancy, injuries and illnesses have plagued her, often brought on by the smallest, most unexpected, variables. Though she’s a kind person at heart, she seems selfish and lazy to some because she spends so much time lying about recovering from her latest ailment. Now what fairy tale would a finicky girl like this find her weakness to be a weird strength? Why, “The Princess and the Pea,” of course!
Levine delivers another short, sweet spin on a familiar story. These fairy tale retellings for young readers stand out from many similar stories by avoiding any didactic tones. Levine isn’t preaching anything here. There’s no moral at the end of the book, or simple structure with good people and bad people, the former rewarded at the end and the latter punished. The tale’s a bit (delightfully) wacky at times, but never didactic.
I read these as a young girl and would highly recommend them for beginner readers, but they’re also one of those pleasant surprises that hold up as an adult. The stories are simple and young, yes, but fun and smart, too.