I just finished reading the fourth book in Jim. C. Hines’ series of princess books, and I thought it was a very fitting end to the series and arguably the strongest book in the series. But we’ll stop all of the small talk and just get on with the review.
Fourth book in the series (sequel to The Stepsister Scheme, The Mermaid’s Madness, and Red Hood’s Revenge
The same characters from the first three books are back of course, although this book does take turn the series on it’s head a little bit by having them chase after Snow. It’s in the first chapter, so it’s not all that much of a spoiler, it’s also part of the synopsis on the back of the book. Snow is under the control of the demon that her mother had imprisoned in her magic mirror, and she seeks revenge against the people who caused her to be exiled from Allesandria. I think the book works really well with her being an antagonist, especially as we watch her rebel against the character that Snow was in the first three books.
Still in the same world, but this book takes place in Snow’s homeland of Allesandria.
After Beatrice dies, Snow tries to capture her spirit to allow her to keep living. This causes her mirror to shatter and allows the demon inside to possess Snow’s body. So of course Danielle and Talia have to work to stop her and try to rescue Snow.
In many ways this is the best book of the series. In the previous books I had complained about Hines use of multiple viewpoints and how it seemed somewhat haphazard. It works out much better in this book, especially considering the fact that we have views from both the protagonists and the primary antagonist in the novel. This book is also the culmination of one of the strongest arcs running throughout the entire series, the love story between Talia and Snow, I won’t spoil the ending, but I loved how it was handled throughout the book.
All of the magic within the world is consistent, even if you don’t get a full understanding of how it works. But the best part of the series really is the characters. They’re very believable, mostly because of their flaws. None of the characters are perfect, in many ways they’re just as flawed as the people they are trying to stop.
It’s so hard to write a review for the fourth or fifth book of the series, especially without giving away too much of the story. But with a unique take on familiar stories, an interesting world and wonderful characters, these are books that I would highly suggest to anyone who reads Fantasy novels.
A wonderful conclusion to the series, although in the acknowledgements Hines leaves open the possibility of writing more books in the series. I for one certainly hope he does.