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Any sweeter and she would have been dripping in honey!
am 28. März 2000
This was my first Lori Wick novel, so I entered the world of Pendaran without some of the expectations that other readers might have. The love story is definitely as sweet as they come--but not as sweet as the heroine. Shelby is far *too* sweet and eager to please. She's in a car wreck, and she feels bad for missing her turn to sign at church? She's in labor, and she's upset that she's missing the end of the sermon? I was actually hoping Shelby would do *something* horribly wrong, just so I could be reassured that she was human. Keeping her knowledge of the baby from Nikolai almost qualified, but the way it was instantly forgiven ruined the potential for conflict. Can you imagine being in Nick's place--his baby died and his wife never let him know it existed until it was too late? I think I would be a little angry, maybe bitter. Even if he is still in love with Yvette (turns out he's not at this point), that isn't a reason for Shelby to deprive him of celebrating a little life that belongs to him as much as to her. She was *wrong,* and her mistake could have been taken full advantage of (story-wise) by causing a wedge between them for awhile--you're never truly in love till you have a serious quarrel, right? Nick's character is the one who wrecks this one, sigh. "It's okay, Shelby. Don't worry about it. We all live and learn." Come on! And of course, the other related minus point is the fact that everybody in the book is a Christian--minus Peter, but in the Epilogue we learn that, of course, he "came around" in the end. And what does Peter have to do with the rest of the story? Was he just an obligatory "not saved yet but will be" insert that was made after an editor said, "Say, Lori, did you realize *every* character in your book is a Christian?" It seems that he could very easily be deleted entirely.
But in spite of those negative points, I really did enjoy the book. This was fun, fun, fun reading--a "kingdom" in 1994. I definitely had to get used to it, and at first I considered the setting a minus point, but the more I read, the more fun it became to read about kings and queens and princes and princesses. I even wish the author would have developed her setting just a little more--what exactly happens during "Council", etc. The inclusion of "companions" and Nikolai's talk w/ Shelby after the fire (about obeying Kris no matter what) was a great addition to the story, to give us the sense that by marrying Nikolai, Shelby did truly give up a portion of control over her life. And yes, it was a sweet love story. Lori Wick skillfully uses bits of "normal" life to tell her story, giving the characters a "nearness" that they might not have if the plot was a lot heavier. Often writers sacrifice character development on the alter called "Plot," but here neither characters nor storyline had to give.
Yes, it's true "escapist fiction", for when you want to read without exerting much brain power and you're not feeling up to deep intrigue or anything too serious. If I wasn't in the mood for a quick read, I might be less generous in my review because of the "lite" style of writing, but lately I'm all for "quickies", so we'll leave it at that.
Let's say, to wrap up the lengthiest review I've ever written, that "The Princess" gets quite a few points for sweetness, but when a story ventures from "sweet" to "sugary," it will always lose at least one star.