Synopses & Reviews
“A dragon darkens our dells. A witch haunts our woods. Bandits roam our moors” . . . King Stromgard swept on. “In the tradition of so many monarchs, I offer my daughters hand in marriage and half my kingdom to the prince who can rid us of these evils, restoring peace and prosperity to our realm.”
And so the contest in the Kingdom of Greeve begins. But Princess Margaret is not your traditional princess. Meg firmly objects to her parents giving her away, and she certainly has no intention of remaining in the tower where she is sequestered. Instead, she sets out to win the contest herself by enlisting the help of her good friend, her loyal maid, an eager guardsman, a young wizard, and a tenacious witch. Does Meg find her distinct place in the kingdom, or is she doomed to fulfill her royal duties?
Kate Coombs weaves a magical tale full of pesky princes, enchanted frogs, a beady-eyed scarf, and invisibility juice - a tale of wonder, but a story familiar to all who struggle to find their own place in the world. The Runaway Princess is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
"In this parody of traditional fairy tale motifs, first-time novelist Coombs introduces a host of comical heroes, heroines, villains and buffoons. Meg, the only daughter of King Stomgard and Queen Istilda, is not your ordinary princess. She detests frilly dresses and would rather chase frogs than learn to embroider. What 15-year-old Meg hates most is being 'sequestered' in a tower while princes from far and wide contend for her hand in marriage. The contest consists of three tasks: slaying a dragon, hunting down a witch and ridding the kingdom of bandits. Employing her wits, agility, and quite a lot of help from Cam, the gardener's boy, and Dilly, the princess's personal maid, Meg manages to escape her prison and embark on the wildest adventure of her life. Her goal is to beat the royal contenders at their own game and thus avoid matrimony. Meg's quest to stay one step ahead of her suitors is sure to keep readers entertained, especially when the dragon, witch and bandits turn out to be far more amiable than the vain 'bread-for-brains' princes, and Meg receives magical trinkets that enable her to perform some interesting tricks. Reminiscent of Shrek and Once Upon a Mattress, this pleasingly twisty tale offers rib-tickling surprises around every corner. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A delicious princess romp. Witty and tart and funny." --Kirkus Reviews "Delightfully devious. Never predictable and frequently hilarious, this is an excellent addition to the bookshelves of Patricia C. Wrede fans." --The Horn Book "A pleasurable read with amusing details and witty twists." --School Library Journal "Coombs . . . has created another strong heroine who eschews the trappings of her birth in the pursuit of truth, justice, and adventure." --Booklist "This clever debut novel features a spunky and likeable heroine in Meg. Engaging." --VOYA "Reminiscent of Shrek and Once Upon a Mattress, this pleasingly twisty tale offers rib-tickling surprises around every corner." --Publishers Weekly
About the Author
KATE COOMBS lives in Los Angeles, California. This is her first novel for young readers.