Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley
I read this book and I thought it was awesome! There's this part in the book where Bella's friend Julian ignores her in front of his friends because he's embaressed of her, and I can totally relate to that.
Left by her father, an arrogant and unpleasant knight, to be raised by her wet nurse after her mothers death, Bella is an imaginative and attractive child whose best friend is the wet nurses previous charge, Prince Julian of Moranmoor. It is not until her father summons her that she is told that the loving people with whom she has spent her childhood are not her true family. She finds his household miserable, her new stepmother unwelcoming, and no place to sleep but the kitchen. Using familiar ingredients including a pair of glass slippers and a magic ring as well as the legend of a Worthy Knight with a halo of heavenly fire, the author has brewed a magical elixir that will warm the hearts of readers who like their adventures set in medieval worlds, and who appreciate a bit of a love story as well. Bella is a worthy heroine, capable in the kitchen and courageous enough to journey to a foreign land to warn Prince Julian and attempt to forestall the reopening of the war between Moranmoor and Brutanna. As a bonus, she has inherited her mothers magic touch that comforts all who come in contact with her–a gift that she hardly needs to accomplish her political task but that revives the spirits of a stepsister, still mourning her own father. More than a reworking of the familiar, this is a 21st-century fairy tale, thoroughly enjoyable in its own right.