Discovering books such as “Princess Rose and the Quest of the Golden Gown” brings me such joy as a book blogger. This is an absolute hidden gem of a book! It’s a charming story that would appeal primarily to readers in the middle-grade and junior YA category, but I believe its magic is one that could charm readers of any age as I very much enjoyed it myself.
The book follows the tale of young Princess Rose from the kingdom of Ametheria as she goes on a quest far away from her homeland to bring together the four separate pieces of clothing that once joined will become her golden coronation gown for when she becomes queen. Together with her dearest friend Joseph, a stable boy from the palace, and her trusty steed Wisher, the trio set out on a journey of a lifetime which forms the plot of the novel. On their journey the characters meet many obstacles and tasks that they must overcome, and life lessons that must be learned, in order for Rose to prove herself worthy of becoming queen.
I just adored this tale. It takes everything that readers know and love about quest stories, but puts a lovely fresh spin on it. Rose is a great character. She’s a brave and confident princess which younger readers will definitely resonate with and admire, but also she expresses doubt and humility in a manner that is very human and gives her this quality of being a truly authentic character, and in many ways can be viewed as a positive role model for younger readers.
Her friendship with stable boy Joseph is also wonderful to read. They have a wonderful camaraderie and are on equal footing in their friendship from the beginning of the story which I truly appreciated. I loved how they complimented each other so nicely each bringing different strengths and attributes to the tasks at hand.
And this being a magical adventure there were a great many interesting and fantastical characters that Rose and Joseph met along the way. From talking cats to pirates to sensitive trolls to mer-creatures… I particularly loved all of the scenes with the troll character Brute and the vicious goats as that story-arc was not what one would expect from such characters. Their appearances in Rose’s quest showed that looks can be deceiving and that making assumptions about someone’s motivations based on past stereotypes can be very unwise.
I also ADORED Rose’s undersea adventure to meet the mer-creatures. I don’t wish to spoil the story but suffice to say her means of breathing underwater was ingenious and made me wish I could share that magical experience.
And the magic bag… LOVED IT!
In one of the kingdoms Rose visited she did meet another young boy with whom she shared the very beginnings of a romance… it was simply lots of stolen glances at each other and was very sweetly described but I think was a very nice introduction to being curious about romantic feelings.
My only complaint is that I wished there had been an epilogue to show what happened once Rose became queen of the kingdom of Ametheria… I just wanted more! And therefore I would happily revisit this world and read another of Rose’s adventure stories.
Overall this was a wonderful read. Super cute and filled with enchanting characters with a great emphasis on family and friendship that was all wrapped up in a fantastically charming adventure story. Definitely recommended to readers in the 8 to 14 age bracket, but also to those of us who are somewhat older that like to recapture some of the magic of our own childhood reading experiences.