In young Lira’s dreams, she fights goblins. While the daylight world sleeps, she’s been defending the realm, but time doesn’t favor the sleeper. A. G. Marshall’s Princess of Shadows romps through a delightful retelling of “The Princess and the Pea.” To prevent a war, Lira must persuade the royal family that she’s actually a princess. But the prince is no sleepwalker. Can she keep her origins secret long enough to save the kingdom? Well-drawn and admirable characters keep this narrative compelling, and deft plotting avoids easy dream-logic. Stirred by sustained tension, quiet humor, and a bit of snark, Princess of Shadows rouses readers and keeps them wide-eyed in this ancient Greece–inspired world.
Best for: Fans of light fantasy, subtle humor, and fresh takes on classic fairy-tale retellings.
Discern: Magic use and some fearful dark monster imagery as well as light references to goblin violence such as bruising, slashing, and burning villages.