Thursday, December 24, 2015

Damselle in Distress by Kiley Kellermeyer

It's long been a complaint of mine that heroines in fiction, particularly those in fairy tales, or that typical princesses/maidens version,  or in books geared toward younger humans (which are three sets that do not necessarily overlap) tend to be somewhat insipid, and almost always passive; the classic "when bad things happen to good people who do nothing to stop it" scenario. Then Damselle in Distress happened, and fairy tales got turned topsy-turvy (and by that I mean "totally wonderful".) We've got a girl whose faery godmother gave her a name that's a curse, Damselle (rhymes with bell), and constantly makes her a damsel in distress. But our Damselle learns there's a possibility to change her name and lift the curse. She takes that curse by the horns, so to speak, and begins a quest to gather the magical objects that are required in exchange for a new name. Her companion in arms each have a fantastic blend of qualities that carry them through the enchanted Willowwax woods, past some characters that may be a bit familiar from childhood storybooks of old. I could see each adventure, battle, struggle, triumph, clearly in my mind, and chuckle when I stumbled on a familiar fairy-tale turned on it's ear.  And I am overjoyed that the main character is a determined, spunky, book-loving, determined, caring, thinking gal with a spoon-- just the one to take a band of misfits on a quest.

I also love how Ariel Burgess captured the essence of this delightful tale so perfectly in her cover art.

Disclosure: I read an early draft of this book, and was pleased to see how the author tightened the tale and grew the characters in this final version. I really loved how Damselle, Ixby, Biddy, Reietta, and Peter developed, each coming into their own distinctive personalities. I wish to reassure the author that her own daughter's faery godmother has nothing as devious as Damsel's planned for the little one when she makes her appearance later this year.

Tags: didn-t-want-to-put-it-downfantasyfirst-novel-or-bookgrandgirl-nonsparkly-foddergreat-covergreat-titlekids-of-most-agesmade-me-laugh-out-loud-for-realmagicmet-the-authorreadread-in-2015rollicking-good-funya-lit

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