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Review: "The Frog Prince's Daughters" by Wendy Palmer

The Frog Prince's Daughters may be purchased in both pbook and ebook formats. Links to purchase options are available on Wendy Palmer's website.

Anura Bufonida is a fairytale princess waiting for her prince to claim her. Anura is sure of her happy ending, being a descendant of the Frog Prince whose curse was broken long ago when he was kissed by his princess. Rana, who has not had so happy a family history, is her loyal cousin and best friend. One day, not long after Anura's sixteenth birthday, a wizard appears, set on rendering the beautiful princess to ashes. He fails.

What does this mean? Is Anura not to have her happy ending? Where is the prince who is supposed to save her? Is something intrinsically wrong in the fairytale Domain? If the happy ending Imperative is broken, who will fix it?

It took a few chapters to understand the logic and terminology in this variation on the fairytale theme. It reminded me of that musical "Into the Woods" where all the fairytales collide into one big story. There's the Frog Prince of course, but also Little Red Cap, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel. We all know these stories, and author Palmer seamlessly stitches them together into a surprisingly believable story.

Not only the story but also the characters draw you in. Despite being a princess, Anura is just a whiny side character to feisty Rana. The wizard, Jannin, makes a charismatic villain, even if you never know which side he's playing for. Step-mother Amarynths and loyal castle guard Mascon round out the core characters.

I'm not a regular fantasy fiction reader. Nonetheless, I was enchanted by Palmer's story. It seems a good introduction to the genre, or just a solid story for anyone looking for some action, suspense, romance, dragons, and princesses on a lazy weekend.


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