Friday, August 14, 2020

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani (Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno) - Book Review


A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani (Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno)
Publication date: April 15, 2014
My rating: 3 stars

Spoilers are marked in purple.

More enjoyable than the first book!
I would probably have even rated it higher if there weren't a few things that frustrated me.

For one thing, it was interesting how Agatha and Sophie's rules were reversed in this one.
Now it was Agatha who wanted "more" (a prince, a happy ending) and Sophie who wanted same old same old (living together with her best friend in their village).
Sophie even commented on that at the beginning of the book.

I loved Agatha and the witches. I was happy to see that friendship of theirs, it was both fun and heartwarming, especially when they kept on hanging out (well yeah, to plot, but still) and saving Agatha, I loved that. I always thought the friendship was going to be between Sophie and the witches but in an interesting twist it was the princess and the witches that bonded and it was lovely.

Agatha giving that long speech to Tedros about why she had to choose Sophie at the end of the first book and about her life in Gavaldon (did I spell that right?), I was clapping thinking FINALLY some honest communication right there, I loved that part! 

Despite wanting to slap the characters so many times, I still understood where everybody was coming from. It’s probably one of the first times I wasn’t enraged over misunderstandings/sabotaging with relationships because those kids are truly just traumatized teens trying to survive/be happy.

I mean Agatha was going back and forth between her friend and her prince because she, naturally, wanted both.
But Sophie wouldn’t let her because: 1) Sophie only has Agatha on her side, and Sophie is traumatized by people leaving her and she refuses to let Agatha leave her too and 2) Agatha is the only thing keeping Sophie’s witch as bay (though it’s a double edged sword and Agatha could also be the thing to drive the witch mad).

And of course, poor Tedros who keeps making mistakes because he’s been hurt so much by the women in his past – his mother, and of course Sophie who kept manipulating him in the first book, so it’s natural to imagine he would be so paranoid and confused.

And can someone please hug Hort? That poor boy. I would hug him and be his friend, he’s precious and lonely and just wants to be loved. I really want him to be happy, but everyone keeps ignoring the boy!

On that note, Tristan. He actually quite reminded me of Hort, just trying to belong, but... :( (Like I said, those poor kids).

One of the things that I really didn’t like in this book though was Sophie’s and Tedros getting intimately closer when Sophie was in disguise. Why? UM, AGATHA! I mean yeah yeah I understand that Tedros was the first boy Sophie truly tried to love and Tedros was in a vulnerable place thinking Agatha betrayed him and such BUT STILL, it kind of makes him seem fickle-minded reacting to Sophie/Filip that way, I mean we didn’t see Agatha reacting to any boys – or girls – this way in this book, have we? SHE’S YOUR TRUE LOVE DUDE, I know you “hated” her then, but whew isn’t it too fast to start “flirting” with others? To be honest I’m not surprised by Sophie reacting to him considering their history but it did hurt my Tagatha feelings when Tedros also reacted to her. And poor boy when he was fooled again and asked "why is everything a lie" I felt for him.

The author should really REALLY work on realistically portraying characters' motives over time though. I mean characters in this series go WAY WAY WAY WAY too quickly from loving someone to hating them back to loving them again, to wanting to save them, to murder them, to kissing them, to despising them, to… like whew, it’s crazy and makes characters' relationships way too fickle and untrustworthy.

As long as you don’t take the relationships too seriously, and try to ignore how some of them only just met each other but declare their love, then their hate, then their love again, it’s super easy to root for/ship for the relationships. It’s like a guilty pleasure, you know it’s ridiculous but for some reason you’re addicted and can’t stop reading! That’s me with these books. 

Magnetised - Tom Odell

“No one likes boys! Even girls who like boys can’t stand boys! They smell, they talk too much, they mess up everything, and they always have their hands in their pants, but that doesn’t mean we can go to school without them! It’s like stymphs without bones! It’s like witches without warts! Without boys, LIFE HAS NO POINT!” 


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