May 2, 2012

Review: Prince Charming Must Die, by Isabella Fontaine

Author: Isabella Fontaine & Ken Brosky
Title: Prince Charming Must Die
Series: The Grimm Chronicles(#1)
Publisher: Brew City Press (16th April 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review purposes.

Buy your copy: Kindle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On the eve of her 18th birthday, high school junior Alice Goodenough feels on top of the world. Classes are almost finished. She’s about to start her summer job at the local library, where she’ll be surrounded by all of her favorite books. And she has a wonderful boyfriend.

Then the rabbit shows up. The giant talking rabbit. He has a message:

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world.

With the help of a magic pen and paper, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm brought all of their characters to life. The world was a more magical place … for a time. Cinderella found her prince. Briar Rose's spell was broken. The dancing princesses spent their nights hidden away in a secret underground city. The old miller's boy found true love.

Then, slowly, the Grimms’ characters began to change for the worse. They became Corrupted. Evil. They didn’t belong in our world, but it was too late for the Brothers Grimm to destroy them.

Only a hero can save the day. Every generation for the past 200 years, a hero has been chosen to fight the Corrupted and rid the world of the Grimms’ fairy tales. To her horror, Alice has been chosen as the next hero. As her 18th birthday nears, she begins to realize life is never going back to normal. School will never be the same.

As for her boyfriend, Edward … well, he might be hiding a terrible secret.
" GoodReads’ blurb

Look at that title. Tell me you can pass up the chance to read it.

... Well, I couldn’t. Which turned out to be a good thing, because Prince Charming Must Die was a refreshing, funny, light and intriguing read.

Plus, it was fairly short, so it’s the perfect title to insert in-between our longer, tougher reviewing books. But that’s neither here nor there—let’s move on to the meaty stuff.
Let me start with a question: do you know the ending for Snow White? I mean the real ending, not the Disney one. Well, I’m fairly sure that there’s a reason the Brothers Grimm were called, well, Grim. And that’s exactly what this title plays with.

It’s not a retelling of our favorite fairytales (even though I love those). No, this time we have a what-if. They say there’s magic in good storytelling, so what if the Brothers Grimm had been truly magical? What if they had made their characters exist in our world... and what if our world hadn’t been prepared for them?

That’s the premise here. I loved it. And it delivers.

Prince Charming Must Die is only the beginning. Alice, our hero(heroine?) must forget her perfectly normal life and right the old wrongs... while hoping she hasn’t gone nutters.

There is a lot of stuff happening—a lot of worldbuilding, if you will. We have to learn how the Corrupted came around, what they are, why they are evil, what’s Alice’s role... Thankfully, all those questions are answered. And you know the best part? Not a single word of info-dump. Everything was woven into the story, into the conversations. There have to be lots of conversations, because no 17-year-old girl is ever going to accept that a giant talking bunny has suddenly become her sidekick, so she needs some convincing... Which made Alice that much more real. Since this is a series, there’s still room for plenty of character development, and what we get is just the basics, but she came across as a normal girl, with family, friends, and the right mixture of courage and cowardice, acceptance and scepticism.

It is true, I guess, that there is a lot of build-up and the resolution comes fast and hard, but that was something else I actually liked. It was what the story needed, and the author wasn’t scared to comply, didn’t drag it out, didn’t shorten it up.

Quite honestly, I can’t wait for the next instalment in the series. I think you’d enjoy this book if you like fantasy YA in general, too, and that you’d really love it if you like fairy tales and folklore at all. Why not give it a shot?

PS. The fact that the boyfriend was named Edward was just the sweet, ironic icing on the cake... *cackles* If you read it, you’ll get what I mean.


  1. Oh, I do love this title >:D

    I want to read this one!

    1. I think you'll definitely like it. Plus, I read it in one sitting, and I'm a fairly normal reader who's been on a slow-reading slump (oh, the bane of book blogging) so I think you could check this out as a breather any one evening. And, I promise, it's fun!

  2. I agree the title has me very interested. I'm definitely adding this one to my TBR list it sounds really interesting. I like that her side-kick is a giant talking bunny. Can't wait to get my hands on this one.
    Thanks for the review I've never heard of this book but now that I have I'll be on the lookout for it.

    1. The bunny is cute. *laughs* This one just came out, and I just had to squeeze it into my TBR because the whole idea was so good... I'm sure you'd enjoy it! Do let me know if/when you get it ;)

  3. How have I not heard of this?!?! I totally want to read it. Awesome review. And yes, you had me at the title, but to hear that this is not just a retelling of a fairytales makes it so much better.
    Thanks Ron!

    1. Books like this make it worth it, to spend so much time reading independent that I almost miss trad big hits... Frankly, I'd not have discovered it either if I hadn't been approached about the review!

      I hope you'll enjoy it! :)

  4. My first thought when I read the title was: 'He really, really does!'
    Refreshing, funny, light and intriguing? Jeesh, does it come with donuts? 'Cause otherwise it sounds perfect! I'm glad the pacing, although unusual, worked well for you.
    This sounds really interesting (and of course I can't resist that title.
    Btw, does Edward sparkle?

    1. Hahaha! Yeah, it was all around cool.

      And Edward doesn't sparkle... but he's quite shiny, if you catch my meaning :P