A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{December 8, 2010}   Once a Princess by Sherwood Smith

Plot: When she was 10, Sasha fled Satorias-Deles with her mother to escape her aunt’s power hungry husband. She grew up on earth, moving constantly and honing her fighting skills for the day someone would come looking for her. After 15 years, that day has finally come. A young magician forces her back to her father’s world against her will and she becomes embroiled in the brewing civil war. Both sides want to use the prodigal princess to consolidate their power and Sasha doesn’t know who to trust.

You may have noticed from the many reviews but I am a big fan of Sherwood Smith’s fantasy. This novel is, however, my least favorite of her books. I have never been very fond of stories in which modern characters are transposed into fantasy settings. It can be done but I don’t feel it brings much to Smith’s story, which like many of her fantasies is about romance, misunderstandings and inheritance; it is merely an excuse to over explain a world that she has already well developed in other books. Her references to earth slang and customs that the fantasy-characters do not understand grow old very quickly.

It is not all bad. The story has many of the elements that make Smith’s books enjoyable: swashbuckling heroes riddled in secrets, intrigue, attraction and strong heroines. However, Smith has many other books that better showcase her skills. You can find my reviews of A Posse of Princesses, The Trouble with Kings and A Stranger to Command on my site.

I meant to read the sequel, Twice a Prince, immediately but I think I need a bit of distance to put myself back in the mood. Meanwhile I will continue to wait for an ebook version of Senrid (also by Sherwood Smith) which I cannot wait to read.

You can buy the ebook version of both books in this series from Samhain Publishing.


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