Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fantastic Fairytales - Pennyroyal Academy by M A Larson

Published: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 304
Copy: Publisher via Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Pennyroyal Academy: Seeking bold, courageous youths to become tomorrow's princesses and knights….Come one, come all!

A girl from the forest arrives in a bustling kingdom with no name and no idea why she is there, only to find herself at the center of a world at war.  She enlists at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights are trained to battle the two great menaces of the day: witches and dragons. There, given the name “Evie,” she must endure a harsh training regimen under the steel glare of her Fairy Drillsergeant, while also navigating an entirely new world of friends and enemies. As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes surprising things about herself and her family, about human compassion and inhuman cruelty. And with the witch forces moving nearer, she discovers that the war between princesses and witches is much more personal than she could ever have imagined.

Set in Grimm’s fairytale world, M.A. Larson’s Pennyroyal Academymasterfully combines adventure, humor, and magical mischief.

It was lovely to read a fairytale retelling that was so different from the norm.  This takes all of the established 'Princess' tales and turns them upside down.  I loved the nod to stereotypes and the fact that princesses are not born, but are made.  The idea that a girl has to go to school to learn how to become a princess fit for a fairy tale is just wonderful and Ms Larson does a great job in setting up the story.

The mystery that is Evie was quite compelling and I for one was fascinated when I realized just exactly who she was referring to as her mother and father - what a wonderful departure from the norm. It's hard to talk about the story without giving major spoilers, but suffice to say, if you are a fairytale fan, I think you're going to love Pennyroyal Academy.  With plenty of fledgling princesses and knights and hordes of dragons and witches for them to fight, you can't go wrong. Oh and there is a lovely twist at the end.  I just loved this story.

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