As the youngest of King Gregor's daughters, Petunia is perpetually seen and treated as much younger than her 16 years. So it becomes just that much more exciting when Petunia is allowed to travel all by herself to visit her friend on a distant estate. But as she is traveling through the Westfalin Woods in her carriage, she is accosted by the Wolves of the Westfalin Woods, a band of robbers bent on taking jewels and money from the rich for their own purposes. Petunia will not be robbed this time, so she finds her gun and points it at the young man who seems to be their leader. And due to her pluck, Oliver, the young man decides to call of the Wolves. But due to circumstances beyond her control, Petunia is accidentally taken hostage by Oliver. Oliver is just a young man, who should be an earl but due to a crazy war his title has been withheld from him. Now he's doing everything he can, including robbing from the rich to put food on his own table and the tables of the men who live and work with him. When he accidentally kidnaps the princess he knows that his neck will be on the line, as well as the lives of all of his men. Still, he escorts her to safety and then turns himself in to save her, knowing all the while he would be killed. But when he discovers that the princes from the Kingdom Under Stone are after the princesses yet again, he knows it will all be worth it, if only someone will believe him.
This is a really fun retelling of both Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood. I love the plucky Petunia. She has to kind of talk herself into having courage and doing what she knows must be done, but in the end is able to just do what needs to be done almost instinctively. I liked Oliver too, I really liked how even though he's should be an earl, he's had to degrade himself to rob others just to pay for food and how he protects his younger brother from the same fate. I also love his selflessness of turning himself in just to protect Petunia, all the while knowing he would be killed. The plot was fun, I loved all the twists and turns and imagination it took to get to the end of these stories.
This is the third story in this series, you really need to read Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass before this one in order to really understand everything that happens.
I was able to borrow this book from my local library.
Labels: fairy tale re-tellings, Jessica Day George