Teen-aged Margaret lives with her father in an Ozark village of tradesfolk. Everyone gets along reasonably well as the years go by. But when summer fails to come to an end and the temperatures are still in the upper digits by Christmas-time, it is apparent that winter will pass them by that year. Determined to have a happy although meager Christmas celebration, Margaret sends her father in search of a Christmas tree to keep him from drinking himself into a stupor. And even though they won’t have much to eat, the clever teen girl plans to prepare a meal from whatever she can find in the forest and streams. As she is out foraging for their supper, she meets the Winter King. He explains that the reason behind the never-ending summer is because the Summer Queen has imprisoned his son, the Winter Prince, inside of a tree – the very tree that Margaret’s father is about to chop down. He gives Margaret the tools to keep her father from chopping down the tree and also charges Margaret with the task of convincing the Summer Queen to set free his son. Margaret is now the Winter King’s Champion.
A splendid contemporary fairy tale set in a faraway land, The Winter Prince will charm you as did the classic fairy tales of our youth. I loved the fact that it takes place in rural America and that young Margaret speaks in the colloquial dialogue of the backwoods folk. While she is suitably impressed with everything and everyone she encounters, she is able to keep her wits about her. And when she meets and saves the magician Anubis, we know it won’t take long before romance is in the air. The story is well written, the pacing is nice and steady, the characters are varied and interesting, and the conclusion is most satisfying. A lovely novella to read to your young ones (8 years and older). There is enough to make them shudder (the evil Summer Queen and Lord Vernum), lots of fun adventures, a hint of romance, and a happy ending.
A hefty punch from a novella of under one hundred pages. Loved reading this one!
Rating: 5 Stars