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Author: Genre: () Length: Novelette

Free on 8th - 12th Oct 16
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This magical story is set in the Kingdom of Utopia wherein lived an old and noble king who had two daughters: Aida and Jessica.
Aida and Jessica were true princesses and excelled in the realms of beauty, intelligence, charm, and capacity to love. However, they did not love each other too much; Aida thought her sister to be very haughty and arrogant and Jessica believed that Aida was no match for her either in looks or in skills and hence always treated her with disdain.
When the girls were ready for marriage, handsome and brave princes from kingdoms far and near came forward to win the princesses’ hands. The news of the classic combination of beauty and brains of the two sister princesses spread like wildfire. And the fact that marrying one of the sisters could make them the King of Utopia was an added attraction for the suitors. Two friends, Arthur and Avignon were among this motley group of suitors. Neither of them belonged to any royal family and yet bore their bearings with pride and honor making them an equal to royalty. They were brought up by guardian angels in the forest bordering the Kingdom of Utopia.
When it was time for the old king to step down, one of the sons-in-law would be taking his place as the new King of Utopia. It was concluded that Arthur would be king as he was older and was to be married to the elder sister, Aida. And so it was to be or was it? Download your copy to read and find out.

Free on 8th - 12th Oct 16
View on Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

"I skim-read after Chapter 3 for the sake of the review, but it never managed to catch and hold my attention. A good editor would work wonders."

Reviewer: .


Drawn by the gorgeous cover, I picked this up because I love modern fairytales, especially Tanith Lee's retellings. This is sadly not on those levels. The writing style seems a little stilted for a fairytale, with modern phrases such as "negative emotions", "gained loads of magical skills", and "classic combination of beauty and brains" Sometimes the writing can be distracting. For example it tells us that the two heroes were raised by Guardian Angels, then three sentences later that the guardian angels were pixies. Why not simply say Pixies outright? In chapter two we are told about "the old gardener" when three paragraphs later it reads "the old man who was actually a gardener".

On finishing chapter one, all I can think it that it is setup. By halfway through Chapter two I was actually struggling. In some ways this reminds me of Chaucer's The Squire's Tale - which is not a compliment as the Squire throws everything at the wall in the hope that some of it will stick and eventually gets cut short by the Knight. For older readers references may be distracting, e.g. this is not Thomas More's Utopia, and it is hardly a perfect kingdom so I'm not sure why that name was used, and the deus ex "Death Spell" on the last page doesn't help (Is murder really a good deed?). However none of these are the real problem with the book.

That problem is finding an audience. I'm honestly not sure who this book is aimed at. This isn't really going to appeal to younger children, as the story rambles and repeats and the writing style and vocabulary is too old for them. I suspect it is not going to appeal to older readers, because of the repetitive style and themes that are slightly too simple. (And personally, the name I give some one who knowingly stands back to let evil run its course is not hero, it is accomplice).

I skim-read after Chapter 3 for the sake of the review, but it never managed to catch and hold my attention. A good editor would work wonders.

Rating: DNF



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