‘The Princess in the Opal Mask’ by Jenny Lundquist

November 14, 2013 5 Comments

‘The Princess in the Opal Mask’ by Jenny Lundquist. Review of the 2013 YA novel from RP Kids. All review text © Rissi JC

Fantasy, fairytales and anything that involves a royal is catching like wildfire and fortunately for the most part, it’s a subculture most fans are willing to embrace. With a twist, this fairytale is one of the cutest I’ve read in this genre for a while.

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STORY: The Princess in the Opal Mask follows the feisty, Elara whose life is anything but easy. Raised by a family who is not her own, Elara is tough to the world and has no love for the family who’ve given her shelter but little else. Then there is Wilha. The young princess has had a very different life than Elara – she’s been brought up with privilege, yet no answers as to why her father insists she wear a mask that hides nearly her entire face. The two girls meet after forces greater than their own bring them together and forever change both of their futures.

The Princess in the Opal Mask Book Review, by Jenny Lundquist

Relative newcomer to the world of YA fiction, Jenny Lundquist (she’s written middle-grade fiction) has got a sweet adventure the first novel in a series of secrets and cute heroes. Alternating between the heroines, Lundquist does a fine job of shifting between the girls though some readers may find fault with their personalities. In different ways, both are hard to warm to. Elara is a bit of a sassy “brat” but she’s likable because of how she grew up. She has to be a fighter, someone who can fend for herself and insert her independence. Then there’s Wilha. Sheltered but the “good girl,” she develops a selfish side through the novel when she has a chance to escape, and while I like the adventurous side of her (and even sympathize), this also leads to an irritant.

The author is fond of loading up on would-be love interests. Each girl has someone from their past (Elara a friend, Wilha a fencing instructor) and then at their eventual destination, there is a prince and local boy waiting in the wings. True, one of them is out of the running early on, just the same, it seems a little bit unfair given how the novel wraps and doesn’t say much for the protagonists. Plus I’m also fond of James, the village barman, and think he deserves better than a disappearing girlfriend.

Fans of Melanie Dickerson should consider checking into these because the style of The Princess in the Opal Mask reminds me a great deal of her novel The Captive Maiden. With exception to a slow start, this novel is quite good as well as preferring the writing over Dickerson’s writing. Anyone who read Doon this summer will recognize similarities, and from all I read, you can also liken this to Lisa Bergren’s River of Time series. The “quality” of the novel is unexpected and I’m eager to read the eventual sequel.

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About the Book

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Jenny Lundquist
Publisher: RP Teens
Publication Date: 2013
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Series: The Opal Mask Series – Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Teen/YA, Fairytale
Rating: 4 out of 5

With thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Kristin November 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Sounds interesting! I love this fairy tale trend (so much more than the vampire/werewolf/paranormal one a while back!). I'll have to check it out. :)

    • Rissi November 15, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Me, too, Kristin – I'm all about the fairytale trend over the vampire and such subculture. The latter makes me shudder! :)

  • Carlyn Brody November 16, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    I like the idea of the book and the cover is beautiful.

    • Rissi November 19, 2013 at 12:15 AM

      The cover *is* lovely, Carlyn – it's even prettier in person, too! The colors blend beautifully. :) Hope you enjoy this if/when you read the book; the plot is quite intriguing and the writing good.

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