Author: A.J. Paquette
Published by: Philomel (2015)
My Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭
SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
For her thirteenth nameday all Princess Juniper wants is a country of her own. So when rumblings of unrest start in his kingdom, Juniper's father decides to grant his daughter's wish and sends her to a small, idyllic corner of the Hourglass Mountains until trouble blows over. Once there, Juniper discovers that ruling a small country–even just for the summer–is a bit harder than she'd expected, especially when cousin Cyril challenges her rule. Still, the most difficult part is to come. Juniper and her friends discover that her father's kingdom is at war. The only way to stay safe is to remain in the Hourglass Mountains much longer than planned. Juniper may have her own country after all . . . but what will that mean for the kingdom of Torr?
This book was plain out awesome! A fantastical, fairy-tale setting in a fantasy world, this book was imagination-filled and adventure-packed in every way possible. It was full of fun characters, vivid settings, and a twisty, mysterious plotline. There was mystery without being too suspensful, but intriguing enough that I couldn’t put it down. It’s been a long time since I read a book this fulfilling and amazing, and I loved every minute I spent reading. This is the kind of book I just know I’m going to end up rereading several times.
Plot: The story was written very well. While the setting is a fairy-tale land, it’s not too juvenile at all—I’m fourteen and I LOVED it. The plotline is both easy enough for a younger person to understand, but also advanced enough that older readers will still appreciate it. The twists and turns added a more mature element, as they aren’t silly and foolish twists but rather advanced and never-saw-it-coming; they were also satisfying.
Themes: There were also amazing themes prominent throughout this whole book, themes that are hard to describe but ones that openly portrayed good morals and other important ideas. I especially liked the way the author explored the idea of royalty, and how Juniper decides that it’s not right that she shouldn’t be allowed to apologize or help just because she’s higher than others—and the concept, in itself, that she would be “higher” than others. Humility, justice, honor, honesty, integrity—all obvious in this beautiful novel. Written in in a careful and clever way, this book suggests virtues that not only fairy tale times forgot about, but also ones that we find often forgotten in today’s present world.
Overall, this book was amazing. It explored a depth that you wouldn’t expect to come from such a fairy-tale like novel, and was clean and appropriate for even the youngest readers. I’d highly, highly recommend it for all ages—whether you like fantasy or not, you might want to try this, as you might be pleasantly surprised. There is so much more to this book than meets the eye! A positive, 5 stars!