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Title: Princess Ben
By: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Started: January 14th, 2014
Finished: March 2nd, 2014
Rated: 7.5/10

March 2nd, 2014

Hello, people of the Internet!
How have you all been doing?! By the time you read this, I really, really, really hope that Spring will have started, because it has been a HORRIBLE winter for us here in Canada. Although I must not be complaining, since I have not gotten sick as of yet (I always wear such big scarves and a lot of clothes, so… I’m usually safe).
Be safe and wear healthy and warm clothes, guys! Soon, I’ll be complaining not about the cold, but about the heat.

Ponyta here with a NOVEL review this week! (after this, I should be good to study another chapter and then I’ll watch Empress Ki – 11).

First of all, I just want to make sure that you all know that I’m an easy rater and that as long as certain criterion are met, I can very much easily enjoy reading/watching stories unfold. With this said, I am quite aware that some people chose NOT to finish this novel [from the comments I read on Goodreads], and I am also aware that some people did NOT like the novel in general. There were also people who thought the book was awesome… I’m… just… in the middle.

Personally, I thought that Ben was an all right character, albeit her childishness. Can you really blame her? She’d been spoiled by her parents and, after their deaths, suddenly, she was thrown into the arms of someone who was as rigid as ice. Who can blame her for being, at her age, building up the whole stepmother persona around her surrogate mother?
All this to say this: I was all right with this character.

Her relationship with the other characters was all right. I wasn’t sure where some were headed at first, but then slowly. As she grew as a character, Princess Ben also changed her way of seeing many of the characters she has interactions with, and through her eyes, I also changed my perspective of them too (or, if I’d already liked them since the beginning, it made me like them even more).

I loved her dialogues with some of the characters – particularly with her maids, Queen Sophia, the King and Prince Florian. Those made me laugh a lot.

There were flaws in the plot, like the dragon, who conveniently comes into play. Although it knits everything together [every clue that Ben had found, that is], I would have liked to learn more about this beast (where it came from, why it chose NOW to appear, out of nowhere, why it ATTACKED the royal family, etc. etc.).

Another error would be the magic chamber. Is Ben ever going to use it again? Is she ever going to find out why it exists? Does she even have kids in the end? Will she show them how to use the magic? Will she ever talk about her having magic in the first place? Will she ever use the magic again? She never talked about them in the so-called epilogue. So, how are we supposed to know that everything went well for the future generations?

I would have liked to have more insight on how Queen Sophia (Ben’s surrogate mother) saw the opposing side’s king and more perhaps on her upbringing. I would have liked to have more hints about the king’s interests, too, for that matter.

I disliked the rushed ending. Maybe this is what irked me the most about the novel.

I can understand Ben when she… finished with certain things, but to  go as far as to mention that the love of her life eventually died… Well, it made me feel sad, and it didn’t seem to me like she did a good job of showing that she was sad about it. You shouldn’t end a fairy tale like novel (especially one for children) in that fashion.

Briefly put, I was unsatisfied that she (the author) wrapped everything up so she didn’t have to write a sequel to this story, when she actually did set the stage for a second book in my most humble opinion (I think someone wrote that in their review, and it rang so true that I had to say it also).

If you are willing to put aside an ending that makes you want for more but will never be satisfied because there will NOT be a sequel, that you don’t mind putting yourself in the shoes of a childish, brat of a character who eventually grows into a better person and also if you like fairy tales, then… why don’t you try reading this one? It was a pretty easy read, too!

Now’s my time to say ‘goodbye guys, and see you next 24th of the month of April, for another random review or recommendation! [or next week for a Game review/recommendation].