Wednesday, April 4, 2007

At Least the "Prince" Wasn't French

Water Song by Suzanne Weyn

This is part of the Once Upon a Time series. This series -- for teens -- reimagines various fairy tales in new settings. Much like Terri Windling's series, although that is for adults. In this case, it's a retelling of the Frog Prince, set in Belgium during WWI.

I actually liked it quite a lot. I think this is one of the more difficult stories to retell, given that one of the characters isn't human. I could have done with a little more subtlety sometimes (I get it -- he's the frog!) but that's not a huge complaint.

Among the Brave, Among the Enemy, Among the Free by Margaret Petersen Haddix

The last 3 in the Shadow Children series. The narrative has traveled around among various characters, but for the last book it returns to Luke. The ending was a bit ... eh. I can see why you'd want a happy ending, but it didn't necessarily ring that true.

I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman.

On the unhappy ending front, this book has it covered. I hadn't heard of this before, but when I saw it at the bookstore it seemed interesting. It's about a girl who is raised in a cage with 39 other women. She can't remember any other life, although they can. What will happen when they get out?

This book could have gone so many different ways. There is a lot of mystery (why are they in the cage, for one thing?), much of which never is explained. I am intrigued by books that deal with the idea of the two genders living apart: Ammonite, The Shore of Women, The Gate to Women's Country. This didn't end up being that sort of book. It was a lot more to do with being isolated from everyone. I think it will stay with me for some time.

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