Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

Princesses are supposed to be charming and lovely, spectacularly so, in fairy tales at least. But the Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne, the seventh of seven princesses, was luckier than most.
Remember “The Sleeping Beauty”? She was cursed by a wicked fairy that when she turned 16, she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.
The Princess Amethyst, etc., has a similar experience at her christening party. All the fairies in the kingdom show up and pronounce upon her the expected gifts of wit, charm, courage, health, wisdom and grace. But then comes the fairy Crustacea, old, crabby and semi-deaf. “Good gracious, poor child!” she says. “Well, thank goodness my magic is stronger than anyone else’s! I am going to give you something that will probably bring you more happiness than all these fal-lals and fripperies put together. You shall be Ordinary!”
The king and queen are devastated. But there’s nothing to be done. Within a few years, despite all their efforts to counteract the old fairy’s gift, it’s apparent that the youngest princess is indeed ordinary. Her name gets shortened to Amy, but most people just call her the Ordinary Princess. Her lovely golden curls turn straight and dishwater blonde. Her nose turns up and gets freckles. (She does get to keep the charm, wit, health, courage, wisdom and grace.)
But there are compensations to being ordinary, and the Ordinary Princess manages to discover them in short order. While her six beautiful sisters are busy parading around and looking gorgeous, getting married, etc., the Ordinary Princess gets to have fun and make friends! This is a delightful, beautifully written story. If you like fairy tales, you’ll love The Ordinary Princess.

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