Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith

A Posse of Princesses

Sherwood Smith

Rhis, princess of a small kingdom, is invited along with all the other princesses in her part of the world to the coming of age party of the Crown Prince of Vesarja, which is the central and most important kingdom. When Iardith, the prettiest and most perfect of all the princesses, is abducted, Rhis and her friends go to the rescue. 

What happens to Rhis and her posse has unexpected results not only for the princesses, but for the princes who chase after them. Everyone learns a lot about friendship and hate, politics and laughter, romantic ballads and sleeping in the dirt with nothing but a sword for company. But most of all they learn about the many meanings of love. 

Something about the title and plot of this book made me not want to read it. It's really quite strange, I can't explain it, but it was one of those books that kept popping up on my recommendations so I finally said screw it and checked it out from the library.

I was pleasantly surprised.

There are really two parts to this book, the introduction of characters and then the growing of these characters. The plot expained up in the synopsis happens in the second part of the book, though honestly it is the first part that I enjoyed more.

I have a thing for spunky heroines that buck the social norm of their society so that they are considered "not good princesses" by the social obsessed characters. This books is full of them. We are introduced to Rhis first and she goes to go spend time with every other princess and prince her age and ends up becoming very popular just from the fact that she does buck the "natural order"

What I liked best about this book is how every character approaches things differently, including love, crushes and politics. There was also a lack of clich├ęs in a book that was so ripe to become full of them and that is another thing I really appreciated about this.

I do wish that the transition from the first part to the second part was a bit smoother, so I wouldn't be able to think of them as part one and part two, because the pacing and point of the book changed so drastically seemingly out of no where. This book honestly felt more like two books instead of one, but that is probably the only real gripe I had about this book.

In Depth Spoiler Review

The way love and romance was approached in this book was spectacular. I love how Rhis, who was pretty isolated in her home kingdom assumes she is in love with the prince, mistaking instant attraction for love at first sight. This feels so natural, this would happen, and I love how as soon as she finally talks to him she feels the attraction just fall through, realizing that it wasn't love at all. Then when she does fall in love, she doesn’t realize what it is till almost the end and then the Prince's mother makes sure it is not just attraction by making them wait and wait and wait, which I loved the idea of.

And then we look at Shera, who grows into being a major flirt, thinking everything is love and not realizing what she doesn't take seriously is taken seriously by other people. I felt she was such an honest character, I have met so many people like her, who find themselves falling in love at every turn of a corner because of, in our society's case, what Disney movies, RomComs and YA Romance teach us about romance.

Thirdly there is Taniva who marries for political reasons, but also it is obvious that she and her Prince have a large amount of respect for each other which I enjoyed.

Overall I just really like the way romance was portrayed in this story, there is just something so natural about it all.


This is a book that made a great, before bed wind down book for me. The prose is very light and easy to digest and the characters a sweet to read. Though the world seems simplistic, it has more layers I feel. It is a true coming of age story for several characters, not just the main one and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys books with a fairytale feel to them (Patricia Wrede books and Shannon Hale books) as I would place this book near those on my bookshelf.

Also when the story shifts, get past it and finish the book, do it for the characters.



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