Ahoy there me mateys! I learned about Ursula Vernon through her work under the pseudonym T. Kingfisher. I was surprised to find that she has a lot of work written for children published under her “real” name. As she says,
In order to never again have that horrific experience where I find myself running in slow motion across a library crying “Noooooooooo…!” as the well-meaning librarian hands a seven-year-old boy a copy of The One Book With The Torture Scene, I write for adults these days under the pen-name T. Kingfisher. It’s just easier for everybody, particularly for my nerves.
This does mean that some short stories previously published as Ursula Vernon will pop up in T. Kingfisher anthologies. It’s cool. I’m not plagiarizing me, I swear.
I was in a somber mood and wanted something to cheer me up. I loved castle hangnail so I thought I would try another of the author’s books for young readers. This was book one of the Hamster Princess series. It is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with animals rather than people. It is also illustrated by the author. It is adorable and fun!
Harriet is awesome. She is a princess who wants more out of life then her normal boring existence. Harriet is smart, clever, and likes math and fractions. As an example, when Harriet finds out about the curse at age 10, she isn’t sad. Instead she determines that she be Invincible! Until she turns 12 anyways. Her pet riding quail, Mumprey, is so loyal and lovely. The tropes are here but twisted in such lovely ways. It is funny, sweet, and unexpected. This lovely book certainly cheered me up.
The only major problem was that I read this on my phone and the illustrations were hard to read. They tell part of the story so ye don’t want to skip them. I managed to read all but one but would recommend reading this in book form to get the full impact.
I loved this as an adult but wish I had it as a kid. I loved this enough that I will likely pick up more of the series in the future. Arrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She may be quite stunning in the rodent realm (you’ll have to trust her on this one), but she is not so great at trailing around the palace looking ethereal or sighing a lot. She finds the royal life rather . . . dull. One day, though, Harriet’s parents tell her of the curse that a rat placed on her at birth, dooming her to prick her finger on a hamster wheel when she’s twelve and fall into a deep sleep. For Harriet, this ismostwonderful news: It means she’s invincible until she’s twelve! After all, no good curse goes to waste. And so begins a grand life of adventure with her trusty riding quail, Mumfrey . . . until her twelfth birthday arrives and the curse manifests in a most unexpected way.
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Previous Log Entries for This Author
minor mage (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)
the hollow places (On the Horizon – Fantasy Horror eArc)
a wizard’s guide to defensive baking (Fantasy)
the twisted ones (Captain’s Log – Fantasy Horror)
castle hangnail (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)