Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Review: Princess Bellarina

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Princess Bellarina by Marilyn Obsuna
An engaging and innovative fairy tale that celebrates the fundamental strength of a woman's love.

I just want to start out by saying this book is from a vanity press; this means the author paid Dorrance Publishing instead of the other way around.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing; it just means the company isn't as selective as traditional publishers, and the quality of their books depends more on the individual writing it than the team - writer, editor, publisher, etc. - working together on it.

That said, this book had a much better storyline than the last Dorrance book I chose.  It was a typical fairy tale, with a beautiful princess and prince in love, a jealous wicked witch, and some kind lady who saves the day.  But, partially for reasons even I can't explain, this was a page-turner.  It wasn't as predictable as others of its kind, even if it was a 'Cinderella' romance.  (I.e., guy meets girl and they're in 'true love' within the hour.  That always bugs me.)  Marilyn Obsuna, though, focused more on the obstacles the characters overcame than their romance.  I liked that.

Since it is a vanity press book, though, it definitely had problems.  The verb tenses were never dependable and there was misused or just plain missing punctuation everywhere.  Despite the whole 'far-away-kingdom in some unspecified olden-day time period' thing, the kings and queens met their guests in a living room and the prince washed his hands in the bathroom sink. (!)  Some definitely modern phrases were used, and the dialogue never seemed to fit the characters.  A majority of the sentences sounded awkward.  To put in plainly, the lack of an editor was visible to all.

Maybe it was the writer in me that made this book seem so flawed.  Honestly, though, the plot was amazing and this writer has a wonderful imagination.  With a lot of practice, a paid editor, and maybe a few writing conferences, Obsuna could certainly become a great author.  I give this book, her first, two and half stars out of five.

I received this book for free through Dorrance Book Review Team in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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