Princess Ben

 
5.0
 
4.0 (7)
1661 0
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
ISBN
0618959718
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1 reviews

A Bewitching Tale
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
In this fairytale, fifteen-year-old Princess Bens mother and her uncle, the King, are killed while on their annual trip to visit her grandfathers tomb. Her father disappears and his whereabouts are unknown. It was assumed that Drachensbett, the neighboring country, is involved in the attack as they have been trying to annex Montagne for centuries. Ben is immediately moved from her small home into the castle and, under the tutelage of the Queen Regent Sophia, she begins to learn what it takes to be a queen&or rather what it takes to attract a potential husband who would make a good strategic alliance for Montagne. This involves comportment, dancing, table manners befitting royalty (i.e. eating very little and carrying on meaningless conversation). Unfortunately, her round figure and rebellious attitude frighten away most promising suitors.

Ben was used to running free while her parents were alive; used to a very loving family. The castle and its inhabitants are cold, bossy, clammy and totally uninviting. She doesnt want a husband. She wants to do something important. After a particularly rebellious dinner, Queen Sophia has enough and decides to teach Ben a lesson. Ben is removed from her luxurious bedroom suite, moved to a tiny room at the top of a long, round stairway of stone and forced to sleep on a bed of straw. She is at the uppermost point of the highest tower in Chateau de Montagne. Hopefully her bleak surroundings will cause some introspection.

The walls in Chateau de Montagne are made of thick stone and each room has an antechamber two to three feet wide. Unintentionally, Ben finds that these thick walls hide secret stairwells, one of which leads to a room equipped for a witch, complete with a book of spells. Ben becomes intrigued and begins studying witchcraft every chance she gets. It is with this magic that Ben will fulfill her goal of doing something important.

Murdock, author of Dairy Queen and The Off Season, two excellent books, has written another winner in Princess Ben. The characters are marvelous. The story is exciting. The action is captivating. The writing is superb and descriptive. Readers will love Princess Ben and root for her to triumph and become the queen she is destined to be. Catherine Gilbert Murdock is one of my favorite writers and Princess Ben reminds me of another of my favorite writers, Shannon Hale, author of Princess Academy, Goose Girl, and Book of a Thousand Days. You will want to read Princess Ben in one sitting, its that good.
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Magic
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by HoopsGirl27



Benevolence known as Princess Ben is an only child and spinets most of her time with her parents.  That all changes when her parents are murdered by assassins.  Now Queen Sophia, her aunt is in charge of her safety.  Princess Ben is miserable and misses her parents.  She remembers the last time she saw her parents, they were going to see her grandpa, which she is to sick to go visit.  Locked away in the castles highest tower by Queen Sophia.  When she is stuck in the tower she comes across a magical enchanted room.  The finding of the room starts off her private adventure.  As she learns of magical arts like flying broomsticks, and setting her own hair on fire.  As Princess Ben finds a threat to her kingdom, she will have to use her new skills to save the kingdom and herself.



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A Great Fairy Tale
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Aryanna Draeger

Title: Princess Ben Author: Catherine Murdock Publisher:HMCo Number Of Pages: 344

Summary from inside jacket flap : My gown suited me well as well as I could ever hope,though I could not envy the young ladies who would attract the honest compliments of of the night. My bodice did not plunge as dramatically as some, and no man- no man I would ever want to meet, surely- could fit his hands round my waist. What I lacked in beauty I would simply have to earn with charm..... Benevolence is not your typical princess- and Princess Ben is certainly not your typical fairy tale. With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle's highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts: mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle pantries, setting her hair on fire.... But Ben's private adventures are soon overwhelmed by a mortal threat to her kingdom. Can Ben save the country and herself from foul tyranny?

Review: Princess Ben started off really slow and I found myself not wanting to read it. But I wanted to finish it anyway. As I progressed through the book it got better and better. By the end of the book I wished it was longer. The main character Princess Ben is witty and I found it funny how much she ate. Overall this book was really great!

I recommend this book if you like fairytales, princesses, romance, magic, adventure, and young adult novels

.





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Cute, different fairy tale
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Chantele

I was a little hesitant to read this after reading "Dairy Queen and The
Off Season", because they were such fantastic books, that I didn't want
to be disappointed if this one wasn't as good. Well, I really enjoyed
it overall. Princess Benevolence, who most call Ben, struggles through
most of the story with missing her parents who she lost to assassins,
and eating away her troubles. The Queen takes custody of her soon after
her horrible loss, and tries in vain to teach her how to be a true
princess. The only thing Ben wants to do is grieve for her parents,
which causes her to rebel against the Queen, ultimately getting herself
locked in a tower everyday for everything but meals. Ben soon discovers
a secret in the tower, escapes, and is thrust into an adventure that
makes her come to realize she can be more than what she has become.
I
loved the changes in Ben. The first of the book she was spoiled, whined
at everything, ate a lot just to make her aunt mad, and refused to do
anything the Queen told her too. By the end of the book she was a
totally different person. She turned into a more kind, caring person,
and cared strongly about the fate of her Kingdom.
****Spoiler****
The
only thing that really bothered me about this book, was the love
interest. He was shown to be rude, power hungry, and treated Ben
horribly. I was blown away at the sudden declaration of love, and
wondered where it came from. They didn't really have any conversations
suggesting that they loved each other before that big scene. I wish the
author would have shown a little more niceness between them before
throwing them together. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the book. It
was a fun read, but I was just bugged a little at the end. I always love a
little more romance. What can I say?;)

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Not Your Stereotypical Princess
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Elaine

Princess Ben is the story of a young Princess named Benevolence. When her parents are murdered by assassins, she is forced to live with the queen, where every day is horrible.

However, tides soon change when she stumbles upon a secret passageway, which leads her to magical treasures. While rebelling against the queen, Ben practices witchcraft in the hope of saving her land from the neighboring countrys evil clutches. Her alternative to witchcraft is to marry the prince of that country in order to have peace and prevent an attack. And that is the last thing that Ben would want to do.

When you first read the description, it sounds like every other fairy tale. Except Ben isn't your average princess. She isn't tall, slender, and pretty like all of the other princesses. She struggles with her weight and relies mostly on charm and not her looks to get people to like her.

I really enjoyed Princess Ben, and I think that others would like it also. It has romance, adventure, fantasy, and mystery.
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An enchanting tale
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by graceface

Princess Ben is plump, stubborn and has no great desire to fufill her royal duties. And from this, it can be said that Princess Ben is no ordinary princess-she's not docile, softspoken and, in fact, grew up in the soldier's barracks! But when her parents and uncle were assassinated, Ben finds that she is now an orphan, the sole heir to the throne of Montagne, and subject to the horrors that her cruel aunt, the Queen Sophia, has planned for her in becoming a proper princess. Between learning proper table etiquette, needlework, being locked in the highest tower of the castle, finding a hidden magical room, and dealing with tensions with the neighboring enemy country, Drachensbett, Princess Ben is an enchanting and witty tale filled with romance, danger and hilarity.
I'm a great fan of Murdock's writing and Princess Ben didn't disappoint!
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She's a Little Plump but Definitely Fabulous!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by the book muncher

Plump Princess Benevolence, sole heir to the throne of Montagne after the sudden death of the sovereign, her uncle, and her parents from unknown assassins, is not enjoying her new situation. Her cruel aunt, the Queen Sophia, is subjecting her to a strict education consisting of all the skills necessary for Ben to achieve to become the proper princess including comportment, dance, penmanship, and needlework, among others. But Ben only wants to mourn her parents deaths and comfort herself with food; her refusal to cooperates causes her to get locked up in a high tower. While in this cell, Ben accidentally stumbles upon a hidden room with a spell book, and so she teaches herself magic. But, tensions with a neighboring country, Drachensbett, escalate the need for an alliance between the two countries, which Ben becomes caught up in, resulting in a disastrous ball, mountainous escapades, and unforeseen romance, and this amazing story.

I was immediately drawn into Bens story about how she matured and saved her country. She is amusing and clever although sometimes single-minded. Bens adventures were very fun to read about, especially the ones involving magic. It was interesting to watch how Ben came to terms with that some of the people she thought were bad, such as Queen Sophia, actually had good intentions. What I found a little strange though were references to world history, such as the building of the Great Wall of China, because the magical aspect of the story made it seem as if the location of Montagne and Drachensbett should not be on Earth. I wouldve preferred anonymity as to the exact location like in many other fairytales, but I dont really mind because this story was so fantastic.

Catherine Gilbert Murdock is a superb storyteller, and while I have not read her other novels Dairy Queen and The Off Season, I do plan to do so. I was very impressed with Murdocks writing style and unique ideas, and I absolutely loved this story. Princess Ben is definitely high on my favorites list, and I highly recommend it to all readers, and not just only fans of fantasy and fairytales.

reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
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A great new fairy tale that will hold a special place in your heart.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Tasha

Princess Benevolence, Ben for short, is left to deal with her moody aunt Sophia after the assassination of her parents and uncle, the reigning king. Sophia becomes the new queen, but since Ben is the only member of royal blood left Sophia wants to her to start acting like a real princess. From the horrible dancing lessons to needlepoint and eating like a lady Ben finds no pleasure in learning what its like to be a princess. When Ben learns that all these lessons are being used to make her more appealing to suitors she loses it. She is rude to her aunt and finds no joy in anything she does anymore. Hoping to put Ben into her place Sophia locks her up in a tower. As you can imagine Ben is furious, but it seems that she has fate on her side when she finds a secret door up into a magical tower. Ben hopes this room will be an escape from her horrid life of manners, curtseys, and potential suitors. Even better, the magic in the room may help her find out what really happened to her parents.

WOW!!! This was seriously an amazing book. I was literally speechless after finishing this book. I have always been a big fan of Murdocks books, but this one now holds a special place in my heart. I mean you take magic, a princess with an attitude and Murdocks brilliant writing style mix them all together and how can you not expect to get a phenomenal story? From the first sentence the book pulls you in and envelops you in Bens story, making sure you never want to leave. I think that this is actually one of my new favorite fairy tales. While it may not be your everyday fairy tale there is just something about it that makes you want to read it over and over again. Another amazing thing about this book is that it doesnt leave you after the final page. Youll want to keep reliving the book and thinking about what could happen next. As you can probably guess I highly recommend this book and suggest you run out to the bookstore or library and grab a copy. This is truly one of those books that you can just escape into.
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