24 Oct 2013

The Peculiar Princess by Christina Graham Parker, Audiobook

June 2012 Astraea Press
"Lexy Newberry knows she's adopted, but someone forgot to mention her birth parents are sixteenth-century monarchs who sent her to the future to escape certain slaughter. Now Lexy is back in the past, charged with reclaiming her homeland. She's not the normal storybook princess, but Lord Lukas Reynard, the nobleman enlisted to help her, isn't a charming prince either.

As her feelings for Lukas grow, she becomes torn between the place she knows in the future and the place she was born to rule in the past. If she leaves the sixteenth century, she may lose a love she only dreamed of. If she stays, she may lose her life. For Lukas has a secret so shocking, it could topple the hopes of Dresdonia and shatter her heart." 

The Peculiar Princess was a time travel novel with a difference- that being that instead of just landing the in past the protagonist was bought back for a reason, albeit from the unlikely setting of a theme park. This concept seemed to work and there was some degree of dramatic tension but the story just seemed a little- slow to get off the ground perhaps. 
This was another audiobook listen, and the narrator wasn’t the best in the world. A little bit monotone, though this didn’t bother me as much as with some other reviewers. Her British accent was not good, sometimes not at all. 

Also, it seemed to be somewhat lacking in any real sense of period. Of course it was set in the late 1500s, and Lexy kept reminding us of how different things were ‘back then’, and some period details, but I wouldn’t regard the representation of period especially accurate. One personal historical nit-pick was the British Lukas calling trousers ‘pants’. I know Americans do this, and the author had to make in understandable for them, but most British people don’t use that term, and almost certainly wouldn’t have done in the 1500s. 

Though I understand the beginning of a story is necessary for introducing and developing the characters, this did happen, but to me it seems as though I spent most of the time  expecting something ‘big’ to happen, a final climax with Sevron. This came, but not until right at the end. Before that there was development in Lexy and Lukas’ relationship but things did seem to drag a little. 

The salvation message seemed sound and not watered down, and the theme of redemption and forgiveness, including forgiveness of oneself seemed to be addressed well, giving some emotional depth to the tale. That said not everything seemed entirely plausible or credible. For instance the conclusion did not seem entirely satisfying or well done for a long-anticipated battle scene. With no irreverence intended its outcome seemed terribly clichéd. Perhaps some of the incidents or resolutions of events were just a little too easy, for instance with the characters suddenly changes of heart.

Overall The Peculiar Princess was generally a satisfactory read (or rather listen) though perhaps not one I would rush to come to a second time.

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