Title: A Stolen Kiss
Author: Kelsey Keating
Genre: YA (MG?)/Fantasy
Date Read: 11/04/2016 – 215/04/2016
After trying to read another book that was turning out to be deadly dull, not to mention being swamped with uni work, a lighthearted, whimsical read was exactly what I needed, and this book delivered. I felt a bit like I was reading a Disney movie, and I mean that in the best way possible.
When Princess Maria cannot accept a marriage proposal thanks to a curse placed on her many years ago, she turns to Derric Harver for help. With the help of her lady’s maid and her betrothed, they set off to try to find the sorceress who laid the curse to see if they can persuade her to remove it, for the Princess’ own sake as well as the Kingdom’s.
This book had some really interesting characters. I think one of the reasons why this reminded me so much of a Disney movie was that everything Princess Maria said sounded like Rapunzel in my head – the two characters had very similar voices. Derric was also an endearing hero, probably the most thoroughly-constructed of the four leads. Sarah, the lady’s maid, came into her own later in the book, even though she did seem to be a bit of tag-along at first. And Prince Humphrey was also enjoyable. In fact, one of my favourite things about this book was the relationship between Maria and Humphrey. They were not interested in each other romantically at all, and were both very accepting of their fate to be married to unite their two kingdoms.
One of the reasons I have put MG in brackets in the header for this post is that I wasn’t entirely sure where the book sat in terms of age-group. This is mostly due to the style of the writing – while Princess Maria and Derric are both around eighteen, and Prince Humphrey is possibly a bit older, they all read about fifteen/sixteen, and Sarah even younger. The style of writing felt much younger than usual for a YA novel
The plot was fairly tightly-structured, though there were periods where it tended to go into “and then this issue came up, and they figured it out… and then this one came up, and they figured it out…” territory. The chapters in Frangalee Forest (I apologise if I have got the name wrong) felt particularly lagging, but once they got out of there and onto a new location, the plot picked itself up again. There were some details from this part of the story that ended up being relevant later, and that redeemed them a bit, though I still think there might have been a way to insert those without it going on as long as it did.
While there was nothing truly mind-blowing about this book, it was definitely cute, and what I needed at that moment. I recommend picking it up after you’ve had a few darker reads – it makes a good literary palette-cleanser.
(Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review)