Plot: Rhis is a princess from a rich but small mountain kingdom. She knows nothing of courts and dreams of the type of adventure and romance she hears of in her beloved ballads. So when she, and most of the eligible young princesses of the region, is invited to Vesarja to be wooed by the newly returned crown prince, she’s more than a little exited. But there is more untruth and unkindness at court than she expected. And when one of the princesses is kidnapped, she and her new friends set off to save her. Romance and adventure turn out not to be as much fun as in the ballads.
I seem to have a special fondness for reading Sherwood Smith books on my ebook reader. But I really do enjoy her books and I have a hell of a time getting a hold of them in paper. She only needs to release an ebook version of Senrid and I’ll be all set.
I sat down this afternoon and just read the whole book in one sitting. It was fun though the plot was not revolutionary or surprising. It felt like a Sherwood Smith YA story and that’s not a bad thing. There is comfort in the familiar. Rhis reminds me a bit of Princess Flian from The Trouble with Kings. Both are plain but intelligent, kind, good with people and lovers of music. The romance is quite nice. We see it develop and I quite like the boy in question. But the romantic leads in Smith’s books are never exactly what they seem at first and that is no different in this case. Maybe knowing that is what made it so easy to figure out his secret, maybe it was simply predictable.
Halfway through the novel, the tone changes a bit. The story turns from a courtly romance to an adventure and we finally get to see more of the female bonding that the title hints at. All four princesses in the posse are unique and interesting in their own way. I would have appreciated a bit more adventuring and princess bonding (in fact Yuzhyu and Taniva deserve whole tales of their own) but it is still good fun.