Nancy Springer’s weird and beautifully told fairy tale, THE ODDLING PRINCE, offers something for everyone
More praise for Nancy Springer’s fun THE ODDLING PRINCE.
SHE’S GOING BOOK CRAZY enjoys the novel.
I want to jump right in and say that I think this book has been (and will be) widely misunderstood. I’ve seen a lot of reviews already that are very misleading and don’t represent this book well at all. While it has been placed into the Young Adult fantasy genre, it doesn’t really fit in well with other current titles and trends. THE ODDLING PRINCE reads exactly like an old-time fairy tale, i.e. The Lily of Life: A Fairy Tale, and reflects little upon the mantras of the genre it has been categorized under. For these reasons, I would highly suggest going into this read with an open mind. There are some very valuable topics being explored, which could completely become overshadowed by preconceived notions. With that being said, I’m so glad that I picked up this book! If you are a fan of original fairy tales, this will be a read that you will want to give a shot at.
Overall, I loved this story. I think there is something here for everyone to take away.
That’s what I love most about the fairy-tale style in which it is written–it allows the story to be told in a way that is perhaps, more tangible for the reader to grasp, yet allows for a few elements to not be entirely explained. It allows for the magical element that fairy-tales possess to remain aloof. This doesn’t affect my view of the book at all, but this quote from the author was included in the acknowledgments, and I thought it was worth sharing because it is so beautiful.
“Writing fiction has always, for me, been an alchemy of turning pain into poetry, ugliness into beauty. It has been a kind of redemption.”
WAY TOO FANTASY includes the fantasy among their Favorite Books of the Year So Far.
Oh man. This book. This touched something deep inside my psyche and I spent half of the book sobbing on my cat struggling to control my emotions. It’s a weird and beautifully told fairy tale about learning to love yourself.
Photo: Bob O’Lary
KAT FROM MINAS MORGUL likes the story.
This was absolutely beautiful. What got me first was the writing style. It was quite prosaic, elements of older English mixed in, as well as poems and songs. It seemed to flow in a tranquil way, calm. I don’t know another way to describe it, but I fell in love with that writing style.
To be honest, I loved the relationships in general. I also loved to see how they change (or don’t change), when the king gets sucked into the madness of the cursed ring, when he starts seeing treason everywhere, wanting to get rid of everyone and everything. But despite everything, the people around him try to save him and his kingdom, all the while finding happiness on their own.
I also liked how the story was centered around the two brothers and their relationship with their father. Even though there is a love story as well, it only has a small part, but a beautiful one nonetheless. Even this relationship is pure gold.
While I thought this was going to be a hard read, I enjoyed it all the more. The writing style, the story, the characters. I came to love everything in the end.
SHAWNA’S BLOG OF DOOM praises the book.
As far as the writing goes, be prepared for older language and a rhythm reminiscent of fairy tales. It’s a little jarring at first, but it’s interesting. I learned things like a believable difference between calling a king “Sire,” “Liege,” and other things. Whether the information is entirely correct, I don’t know. I haven’t researched it yet. But it made sense in the story. And the author made the information feel like a natural part of the story instead of an infodump. It was really interesting
Ultimately, THE ODDLING PRINCE was a fun read. It seems like it’s going to be a standalone, but on the off chance there are more, I’ll pick them up. I also plan on looking for other books by Springer.
Overall, I’d give it four out of five stars. It’s a quick and amusing read. If you’re into fantasy or fairy tales or just looking for something light to read between things, I’d definitely suggest giving it a shot.
For more info on THE ODDLING PRINCE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Brian Giberson
Design by Elizabeth Story