Saturday, January 9, 2016

Thrilling Political Romance from a Fairy Tale

Review: The Princess Companion (Four Kingdoms Book 1) by Melanie Cellier

Working as a Kindle Scout brings frequent rewards. Sometimes, it comes in the form of free Kindle books when the choices I nominate are selected for publication. Sometimes my only reward is an introduction to a writer I would not normally encounter.

I could increase my chances of getting a free book from each nomination by only selecting HOT choices, but these are books that already have the advantage of being listed as HOT. Instead, I read the descriptions and look at the sample text for each book that sounds like a promising read, and then nominate those.

In the case of the Cellier re-telling of The Princess and the Pea, I won even though the book was not selected for publication. I bought it to read anyway, and was amply rewarded with a masterful political thriller-cum-romantic comedy based on the children's story.

Alyssa is no princess, she is the daughter of a woodcutter with four rough-and-tumble brothers. By luck she stumbles into a position with the royal family, as companion to the twin daughters of a queen with stepsisters and a charming king. Through a misunderstanding, she is ushered into the guest suite planned for testing the princesses who will be coming to meet the heir, Prince Maximilian. Of course, she feels the pea, but she is too polite to mention it!

From there, the story proceeds like all good romantic comedies with plenty of misunderstanding and missed opportunities. An added element of political intrigue with assassins, spies, and sinister strategies for alliance makes the novel much more interesting to an adult reader. 

I am pleased that this is planned as the start of a series. The series title, Four Kingdoms, promises at least two more stories as the history of these kingdoms unfold. I will know to add them to my library, thanks to my introduction through Kindle Scout!