This short book is about the length of a serious short story. It’s 104 pages in large child-friendly print. I don’t think it really qualifies as a novella.
Instead, it’s a delightful fairy tale that I want more of.
Marcelline, the story’s heroine, is a strong willed young woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Her father has gone blind, and her favorite sister is dying of a wasting disease only impossible magic can cure.
So when a summons from the king arrives, a contest for someone to be his desperately needed bride, and a grand prize of an impossible ish- on top of getting the crown- is an opportunity too much for Marcelline to resist. She could give two hoots about the fame and fortune with marrying the king, but saving her sister would be worth anything.
But her own personality is too strong for her to lie, and so she must earn the king’s love and respect without sacrificing herself. And they both find that he must also earn hers.
Even though it’s altogether too short for my taste, it’s a perfect beginners novel for kids, and one I’m glad to have on my shelf for my family to grow up reading!