- The Good: Sweet and heart-warming fairy tale about a princess on a quest to save her sister
- The Bad: Simple characters, particularly the flat protagonist and the flat antagonist
- The Literary: Lots of fairy tale references
Princess Marra is the shy and maybe-a-little-slow youngest of three daughters from a little kingdom on the coast. From a young age, she watches her sisters as they are married off. The oldest sister marries the prince of a powerful neighboring land but dies soon after. Marra’s middle sister marries the same prince, and Marra herself is shipped to a nunnery in order to keep her from bearing children who would have any claim to a throne. After many years in the nunnery, Marra visits her pregnant big sister, and, upon learning that the prince beats her sister, decides she has to do something.
Marra is shy and uncertain of herself, but she cares deeply for those around her. As a character she’s a little boring, so when the plot gets going in earnest and Marra seeks help from a powerful gravewitch, things get more interesting. Marra completes the three requisite impossible tasks, and a quest begins that eventually includes a dog made out of bones, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon.
Plot-wise, the story is simple, a nod to the classic fairy tale—with a twist. The evil prince is a flat antagonist. The magic comes in small doses in a goblin market, a dog that comes to life despite being made of only bones and wire, and a demon-possessed chicken. It’s all quite cute, particularly the budding romance between Marra and the stout, handsome knight. The real charm and humor come from the two older ladies, the witch and the fairy godmother, who bicker and cackle and do most of the proverbial heavy lifting.
The ragtag crew up against all odds, complete with animal sidekicks is really the heart of this gentle fairy tale adventure. Recommended for fans of The Princess Bride!