Monday, January 11, 2010

Book Review: Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

I finished this book up last night, finally. It wasn't that it wasn't good or that it's overly long. No, it's that I've been spending the last couple days' worth of free time looking through the archives of a blog I've just stumbled across - Green and Crunchy - which has just fascinated me for whatever reason. Okay, not for whatever reason - the blogger is a good writer and writes about feeding her large vegan family. Plus, they're homeschoolers. What more can you ask for? Even though I've just got the one offspring, I've had off and on longings for a large family myself. I'm all done now, though, and am back to having some reading time. LOL And here I covet a more unplugged life. Oh well.

Princess Ben is written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, who's book Dairy Queen, I reviewed recently. As you may remember, I enjoyed Dairy Queen and have continued the series, but I also wondered if I'd like Murdock's non DJ work. Sure enough, I did. Upon finishing it, I even put it straight onto Davan's library book shelf rather than in the return bin:

(Davan's is the bottom shelf. The return bin is the black crate on the side. Mine is the middle shelf. Anthony's is the top shelf, which also holds the family viewing DVDs. Anthony teases that we have a tendency to check out the whole library. This is actually looking pretty good. Just a week ago, there was a large stack on the side opposite the return bin, as well. I'm trying to take back more items than I check out just now to restore the balance. Of course, that doesn't always happen once I get to the library. Just Sunday I had a lapse and came home with a few more than I'd taken in. Oh well. At least it still all fits.)

Princess Ben is the story of, you guessed it, a princess named Ben. Actually, her name is Benevolence, but she goes by Ben. Just after Ben's 15th birthday, her parents are killed. Well, her mom is killed for sure, but her father is missing and presumed dead. Ben, although the niece to the king and queen is the heir to the throne because the king and queen are childless. The king perishes along with her parents. Ben has lived her whole life just outside the castle with her down to earth and indulgent parents, but upon their deaths, she's expected to take up residence in the castle and undergo tutelage under the supervision of the surviving queen, who is the regent until Ben is deemed ready to take the throne, which, given how things are going for poor Ben, doesn't seem to be any time soon. War is eminent with the neighboring kingdom, who, the queen and Ben are both sure, are responsible for the deaths of the nobility, which, of course, adds that much more urgency and suspense to the story.

There is a good dollop of magic in this coming of age fairy tale. Ben's struggles are heartfelt and justifiable while we reinforce the valuable lesson that there are two sides to every story.

I really liked Princess Ben. I give it a 9.


  1. OK how does she keep up with it all? Seems so organized the woman on the Green and Crunchy site.

  2. Oh and you should add her to blogs about food that you enjoy