My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: August 18th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Super fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Action, Adventure
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 is most wonderful 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.
Imagine a hamster princess who can do anything she wants because the curse she is under protects her from injury or death until the curse itself can claim her life.
Pretty badass, no? Indeed, Harriet is one badass hamster princess. She fights creature after creature, never showing fear. So much that at some point she becomes a hero to some and a nightmare to others (the bad creatures).
I could not stop reading this book. It’s fairly short and the font is big – plus it contains many images/comic strips – therefore I was able to finish it in less than one hour. The action is continuous and the writing clever.
Harriet herself is the kind of character I would want kids to be introduced to. This is a feminist fractured fairytale, meaning that the reader is exposed to a lot of girl power and humour. Harriet may be a princess, but she isn’t going to be an idle one who waits for the hamster prince to rescue her. No, no, not she!
Granted, the illustrations are not the best. They lack colour – unlike the cover – and do not show much. But I did not read it for the comic part; I read it for the story and characters and those blew me away.
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