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Author: Nix, Garth
Princess Anya has a big problem: Duke Rikard, her step-stepfather is an evil wizard who wants to rule the kingdom and has a habit of changing people into frogs, and her older sister Morven, the heir, is a wimp--so with the help of the librarian Gotfried (who turns into an owl when he is upset), and the Royal Dogs, she must find a way to defeat Rikard, save her sister, and maybe even turn Prince Denholm back into a human being.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.00
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 187558
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 23.0 Quiz: 70045
School Library Journal (+) (00/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Nix fans will rejoice that a new novel is here, and it’s a fine one, featuring creepy sorcerers, clever girls, and one of the best talking dogs around. Anya’s got a terrible stepstepfather (the husband of her stepmother), a flighty sister who’s destined to be queen someday, and a frog that Anya thinks is her sister’s newest beau. When Anya kisses it using magical lip balm, however, it turns out it was an enchanted man, all right, but the wrong one. Now Anya’s got to head out into the world to find more ingredients to make the rare lip balm, since there’s a lot of frogs hopping around and she fears many of them are enchanted humans. While on her quest, Anya begins to see how oppressed her kingdom is, just how evil her sorcerer stepstepfather has actually become, and, reluctantly, how she is needed for much more than just kissing some amphibians. Ardent, a talking dog and Anya’s ferociously loyal companion, is an amusing sidekick, as he is wise and doglike in equal amounts. The whole cast is memorable-Nix’s talent for startling and cleverly drawn characters, even very minor ones, is in full force here. Anya’s significant resistance to a future that will mean hard work is understandable, and it’s amusingly poignant how much she’ll do to avoid it, even while readers will know from the start that she is destined for a much bigger fate than the one she imagines for herself. An epilogue wraps all loose ends up in a tidy way, dashing some hopes for a sequel, but there’s plenty left to say about Anya, royal Frogkisser and future queen. AS - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/01/2016 Princess Anya is in a bind. Her stepstepfather Duke Rikard (who happens to be an evil sorcerer) is plotting to steal the crown, her older sister’s suitor has been transformed into a frog, and Anya has promised to help turn him back into a prince—but she’s fresh out of the transmogrification-reversal lip balm she needs for the job. There’s nothing for it but to embark on a quest to gather the hard-to-come-by lip balm ingredients and hopefully devise a way to stop the duke while she’s at it. Anya is accompanied by Ardent, an eager (talking) royal dog, and it isn’t long before their journey takes on a more significant purpose. Playing on fairy tale tropes and conventions, Nix (Newt’s Emerald, 2015) delivers a delightful adventure stuffed with absurdity, magic, and a spirited young heroine. Beneath these entertaining trappings lies a heartfelt message of justice and fair treatment for all. As for Anya, there’s always room for leading ladies like her: “I don’t expect to need rescuing. I’m not that kind of princess.” - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 8 Up—Anya, a 13-year-old princess, loves nothing more than reading in her favorite chair. But after she makes a "sister promise" to her elder sibling to turn a frog back into a prince, she finds herself on a quest for a magic lip balm that sends her far from her beloved castle library. Along the way, she learns that wizards offer help but only when asked; witches like trickery, so it's better to strike a modest bargain with them; and giants are nearsighted, but their noses are so sensitive that they can smell lies. This delightful fantasy pits the small but mighty Anya against a sorcerer, Rikard, for control of the kingdom Trallonia. Nix grounds readers with practical asides, such as how to go to the bathroom without embarrassment when there is no toilet. He also has a gift for imaginative names, settings, dilemmas, and resolutions. Best of all, he invites readers to question the adult world along with his protagonist. Ardent, a talking royal dog, is as restless and uncertain as Anya, but he helps guide her. Not that she's asking for assistance: "I don't expect to need rescuing," she tells him once before a particularly dangerous separation. "I'm not that kind of princess." VERDICT With wonderfully inventive creatures, challenging vocabulary, and a captivating story, this fantasy is recommended as a first purchase for YA collections.—Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.