Tag: princess

Meet the Brothers Grimm in Daughter of the Red Dawn

Yes, another free book found its way into my iPad’s memory. This time, it was an iBook.

Honestly, I picked up this book Daughter of the Red Dawn by Alicia Michaels because I connected with her biography. Her books are published by a small press that I follow, so their promotions came to my email box.

They were promoting a new release in her series The Bionics. It sounds intriguing, but science fiction doesn’t make the cut very often. Remember my two requirements? Young adult and fantasy. Since they listed all of the titles by the author, I found this book which lay safely within my reading parameters.

The Story

An evil fairy queen abducted seven princesses from the magical kingdom of Fallada, hoping to avoid the prophecy of her doom promised through them.

The book begins in a small town in Texas with a 17-year-old girl who doesn’t fit in. She’s plotting her escape to the big city and enjoying the freedom of running as super human speed in a field where no one can see her.

Except, someone is watching. A young handsome guy with crazy blue eyes and sculpted muscles. Of course, he’s a stranger and Selena knows better than to let him get too close.

Everything in her life changes when a werewolf attacks her and bites her “grandmother.” Luckily, the Grimm brothers come through the roof at just the right moment and tranquilize the werewolf. Her grandmother can be saved in Fallada, which is where they want to take her.

They reveal her identity as one of the lost princesses; she doesn’t believe them. Her character arc takes her from ” girl nobody” to the Daughter of the Red Dawn who will save an army.

My Impressions

Even though Michaels did everything right with structuring this book, it took me awhile to become engaged. I was well beyond the halfway point when I finally decided I wanted to meet Selena’s birth parents.

Selena came off as much younger in many ways and that made the steamy romance side of the story unbelievable. He’s her first kiss. Now they’re in love. In the midst of all this upheaval over her true identity, this seemed like an immature move on her part.

Her motivations rang true. The plot problem with the evil queen is hardly new, but it added torrents of conflict. Overall, the story succeeded.

I enjoyed the bantering between Selena and her friend, Zoe, that ended around the halfway mark. Most of the dialogue from these two sounded authentic. The male lead? Not so much.

Don’t get me wrong, he is handsome and hunky and misunderstood. His intensity for Selena is immediate and explained, but felt cliché. Haven’t we done the werewolf bonding thing before? How about something original?

The climax of the story felt forced and rushed. Everything points to this battle of Red Dawn but we got mere vignettes. The stakes could have been higher. I never believed Selena was in mortal danger during this battle, and her amazing fighting skills (acquired in a week of intense training) seemed far-fetched.

Many of the problems were solved too easily. Build up the conflict and emotion and then throw in an easy answer. This is the biggest hindrance to me truly loving the characters and story.

My Recommendation

The bottom line: this book was hardly perfect but it contains an engaging story and the promise of more books to come in the series. Pick this up if you want easy entertainment, even for teenagers it will be light reading.

Overall, I think this is an engaging book for young adults. I give it four stars and would recommend it to girls who love stories about Fae and romances.

What do you think? Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Let’s talk about it.

To Be a Princess

Amazing Ivy in a Courtyard at the Royal Residence
Amazing Ivy in a Courtyard at the Royal Residence

Sharon is a derivative of Sarah, which means princess. I know! Apparently, I’m a princess.

Recently, on a day when I wasn’t lost, I visited the Royal Residence in Munich, Germany. I’m happy to share a sneak peek with you here.

Once upon a time (so droll, isn’t it) Munchen (German spelling of Munich) was the capital of Bavaria. (Now Bavaria is just a province within the country of Germany.)

In fact, this building has been around –in part – since 1385 AD, but it didn’t become the royal palace until the reign of William IV around 1508 AD.

This building has so many wings and courtyards and levels that I could have easily wandered around forever. Fortunately, some sections were closed to the public and there were large arrows that pointed me in the correct direction.

Too much about this place was intriguing. I found the various styles of art in the Munich Residenz fascinating.

Mercury (messenger of the Gods) in Bronze
Mercury (messenger of the Gods) in Bronze
The amazing frescos on the ceiling

One enormous room could have kept me ogling for hours. Apparently, the peasants were invited to stand on the lower level of this room and watch while the royalty ate on the dais. Call me crazy but I don’t fancy being in either of those parties.

I'm standing where royalty ate. Behind me: Peasantville
I’m standing where royalty ate. Behind me: Peasantville

You know how we call it a “king-sized bed.” It’s false advertising. The beds were dinky, but the bedrooms were enormous.

Princesses (not to mention kings) don’t dress in the same room where they sleep. There is no sleeping in the room where they read, and only certain rooms are fit for receiving guests  (go figure).

There were tons of stairs, which means the princess didn’t have to go outside and get her hair wet to engage in cardiovascular exercise. (Running stairs is so NOT my favorite cardio activity.)

A gold ceiling? Really?
A gold ceiling? Really?

This building, along with the castles I will give you a brief tour of later, defy my sense of logic. Why would anyone need all that space? What purpose does all the adornment serve?

If I were a poor commoner who was starving in the streets, I would certainly charge onto the dais and demand a portion from the royal table. Servants for those kings surely prepared too much food, and you can’t tell me there’s such a thing as “royal leftovers.”I am glad to visit these remnants of the past, but I feel fortunate to live in an age of democracy. As exorbitant as taxes are now, it’s mind-boggling to think what it would cost to support a gigantic palace like this one.