MG Book Review: Frogkisser by Garth Nix

frogkisser
Princess Anya has a problem. Her evil stepstepfather just transformed her sister’s current boyfriend into a frog. Her sister, Princess Morvan is bereft. She insists that Anya save her dear Prince Denholm who is somewhere in the castle moat about to be eaten by the moat monster. Anya swears a sister swear (even more binding than a pinkie swear) that she will find Prince Denholm.

As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, Anya’s evil stepstepfather announces that he’s sending her to boarding school. She knows that he’s getting rid of her so he can take over the kingdom.

You’re probably wondering what a stepstepfather is. When Anya and Morvan’s mother died, their father remarried and they got a stepmother. The stepmother was nice enough, but then their father died and she married the evil sorcerer Duke Rikard.

So what is Anya to do? She has a sister swear to uphold and she has to avoid being sent away. She goes to Tanitha, the wise matriarch of the Royal Dogs. Tanitha tells Anya (the Royal dogs can talk) that she must leave immediately for her own safety. And while she’s out there avoiding the wrath of Duke Rikard, she can find the ingredients to make a magic lip balm so she can kiss the frog and turn him back into Prince Denholm. Tanitha assigns Ardent, a young Royal dog, to go with Anya and protect her on her quest.

Along with a transformed prince frog, Anya and Ardent team up with a transformed newt and a transformed otter. They meet the real Snow White (he’s not what you think) and the seven dwarfs and they get a flying carpet from the Good Wizard. With new allies, Anya and Ardent attempt to save her kingdom and restore the Bill of Rights and Wrongs (quest addendum), as well as turn poor Prince Denholm back into human form.

It’s been a while since I’ve had this much fun. I’ve annoyed my family because I make them listen to me read passages from the book. If you enjoy fractured fairy tales and the humor of the Shrek series, you’ll love this story. Rated “E” for everyone. And you will love Princess Anya and Royal dog Ardent.

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