It’s a tale as old as time: a tiny baby, an angry fairy godmother, a curse that can only be broken by the kiss of a prince. But Harriet Hamsterbone is not your ordinary princess. And this is not your ordinary fairy tale.
When Princess Harriet is ten years old, her parents tell her the tale of her christening—how the evil fairy god-mouse Ratshade cursed her. How, on her twelfth birthday, she will prick her finger on an enchanted hamster wheel and fall into a deep sleep. How only the kiss of a prince will wake her. Instead of being horrified, Harriet immediately finds a loophole: if the curse must happen, then she is completely safe—invincible, even—until her twelfth birthday. She may fall asleep when she’s twelve, but until then Harriet is going to take full advantage of this situation.
But curses are tricky things, and Harriet’s loophole might not work out in quite the way she was expecting.
This fractured fairy tale is the first in a new series by Ursula Vernon, author of the popular Dragonbreath series. Like Dragonbreath, pairs an engaging story with illustrations and graphic novel elements to create a book kids won’t want to put down. Princess Harriet turns the trope of the helpless princess waiting for rescue on its head, and is a great girl-power alternative to more traditional fairy tales. With the Hamster Princess series, Vernon has another winner on her hands.
Review by Kate Sweeney
Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon; Dial; c2015