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Suzanne de Planque
The Lost Princess of Story
For anyone who ever wished on a star, waited for their owl letter, or checked every single wardrobe at the IKEA, just in case... Prince Charming grew up, became King, and married and murdered his way through six of the most famous fairy tale princesses. Since his death, the World of Story has been torn by civil war. Charming's youngest daughter seized the throne, built the Wall, and closed the Doors. A small group escaped just in time. The Community came together, a resistance group of knights and princesses, heroes and magical creatures that put down temporary roots in New York City, the place in our World most hospitable to magic. They thought they would be Home soon. It has been fifteen years since the Wall went up, and now the Doors are about to open. Now their children will discover Story, the World that knows your wildest wishes and your deepest hidden damage, where reward is limitless and danger beyond all you can dream. So--if you dare--turn the page. And welcome to Story. The Lost Princess of Story is urban fantasy portal fiction, with retold fairytale twists. All ages book about Brooklyn and magic with LGBT+ characters.
The sweeping first volume of de Planque’s Chronicles of Story series, created as “a valentine to children’s literature and fantasy,” invites readers to sink into an epic, imaginative portal fantasy touched with welcoming whimsy.The Last Princess of Story drops Lilla, a twelve-year-old Brooklyn girl who believes in magic and desperately wants to experience it in her life, into a legitimate magical quest. When the fairy tales she loves to read are proven to be real, Lilla finds herself in both a New York City in which fairy folk have found refuge and in Story, the “fabled land of magic,” a realm that everyone visits on occasion, “even if only in their dreams.” Lilla and friends must work with a collection of fairyland creatures and characters to rescue a fallen comrade and protect Sophie, Charlie’s mother, from an evil Queen with a penchant for firebombing villages.

Those who grew up enjoying The Wizard of Oz or the Harry Potter books will likely find a pleasurable familiarity in de Planque’s elaborate world building. Both young readers and adults will recognize such fairy tale places and characters as Grimm, the Charming family, and Cinderella. Lilla is a playful protagonist who starts the book leaping into Ikea wardrobes in hopes of discovering Narnia and develops into a young woman of courage. There’s amusing banter, an adorable and hungry teacup-sized dragon, and an enthusiastic narrator given to wordplay and allegory—and willing to crash cymbals together to re-capture reader attention. While some might find that this lengthy story undertakes one too many adventures, there’s still much delight in the whirlwind perils.

The fun packs the pages, right down to engaging footnotes, and de Planque expands it to real life with recipes of the character’s favorite treats (cake toast and chip-butty) and a bibliography offering fantasy and fairy tale recommendations. Readers looking to get swept up in an adventure will delight in this fairy tale.

Takeaway: Lovers of fairy tales and epic adventures will enjoy this dangerous quest filled with lovable heroes and magical creatures.

Great for fans of: Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood, Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A