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The Unhandsome Prince
by John Moore

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
272 pages; ISBN: 0441012876

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Unhandsome Prince
John Moore
Ace, May 2005, $6.99, 272 pp.
ISBN: 0441012876

Once upon a time in the charming backwater village of Ripplebrook in the Kingdom of Melinower, the Sorceress Amanda turned Prince Hal into a frog for daring to break into her castle. Caroline, the most beautiful female in the village and perhaps the kingdom, spent seven weeks in the swamp kissing frogs until she found the princely one. When she kissed him, she expected a handsome royal to marry, but instead found the returned human Hal looked like a dweeb.

The Prince was not thrilled with Caroline though she rescued him from an amphibious life of insects as he felt her husband criteria too shallow for Hal. However, he reluctantly agrees to take her and her friend Emily to the capital so the younger can apprentice to a wizard and Caroline can search for a handsome noble to marry. If she fails to wed within a prescribed time as a stipulation of the original spell, Hal converts back to a frog prince.

THE UNHANDSOME PRINCE is an amusing and adorable adult fairy tale. Caroline matures over the course of the novel so readers come to eventually like her and hope she finds her true love, an unlikely event since she lacks a dowry (who says money can’t buy happiness). Emily is smitten with the Prince, but she must remain chaste during her apprenticeship or else. Hal is too worried about his short swampy future to take a leap in thinking of having a family. The interrelationships of the characters showcase John Moore’s magical writing skills.

Harriet Klausner

 

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