Monday, May 14, 2007

Princess Nevermore and Cam's Quest

Princess Nevermore: Updated and Expanded Edition by Dian Curtis Regan (Darby Creek, 2007)
Cam's quest : the continuing story of Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan (Darby Creek, 2007)

Quinn is princess of the underground medieval style kingdom of Mandria. Her only destiny in Mandria is to be a fairy tale princess and married off at the age of 16. The kingdom is connected by magic, through a wishing pool, to the outer world (our world) and Quinn and her childhood friend Cam dream of visiting it. As an apprentice to a magician, Cam knows some magic and tries to send himself and Quinn to the surface but ends up only sending Quinn by mistake. Lost in our world, she is rescued by a man and his two teenage grandchildren who take her home with them and enroll her in high school.

The idea of a medieval princess surviving in a present day high school works well in the story. When Quinn addresses a teacher as "Sire" he thinks she is being a smart aleck. Her discovery of the comfort of blue jeans and the fun of make-up are entertaining. The technology of this world seems like a kind of magic to her even though she knows there is no magic left on the surface of Earth.

The tension in the book rises as Quinn becomes the focus of attention of the campus ne're-do-well and the window of time she has to return to Mandria begins to close. Because she has fallen in love, she questions whether she even wants to return.

Cam's Quest picks up sometime after Princess Quinn gets back to Mandria. Cam loves Princess Quinn from afar but knows he can never marry her as he is an orphan and knows nothing about his parentage. Eventually he too must pass through the wishing pool to discover the truth about his past. In the meantime the princess has got her back up against the convention that she MUST marry and she runs away.

You can take the girl out of the blue jeans but you can't take the blue jeans out of the girl.

In the forward to the first book, Dian Curtis Regan mentions that she began writing the book when she was just out of her teens and the book does put me in mind of Eragon with its straight forward plotting and very earnest characters.

I liked the cover art for the two books very much and I note that Cam's Quest is an upcoming Junior Library Guild selection.

Interview with Dian Curtis Regan at Cynsations
Dian Curtis Regan Website

Review copy from Raab Associates

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