It’s been awhile since I wrote a book review, and there’s a reason for that; it’s been awhile since I’ve actually read a book! When I came across Princess Olive by Jonathan Degler, I had no choice. I had to read it. (Partly because he asked me for editing help, but there was never a question that I was going to read it regardless.) So I did. And boy am I glad!
**Oh yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I had a part in the editing of this book so feel free to be advised of that. It doesn’t impact my overall thoughts on the story, but people tend to feel the need to know things like this.**
As a big, bad biker who works in the criminal justice system, books about teenage princesses typically don’t hit my radar. Throw in the fact this title falls under the fantasy genre, introduces magical beings, is set in medieval times, and this story checks all the boxes for books that I generally ignore when I’m looking for my next read. But when the author is a close friend, of course I had to check it out! (For clarification, I’m not bashing any of those things that I just mentioned, they just aren’t usually in my realm of interests. If magic and castles are your thing, then there’s nothing wrong with that at all – I just don’t happen to be a big fantasy aficionado.)
This story wrapped me in right from the beginning with the likable characters. Degler did a great job making his characters feel like real people who are easily relatable…even if they happen to be the mighty king, queen, and princess over an entire kingdom. The family squabbling is something that anybody can connect with, and it ties the story to reality right from the jump. The entire story spins from a disagreement between the main character, Princess Olive, and her dad, the all-powerful King Thymos. The princess disobeys her father and goes on a trip with a group of friends before things go completely haywire. Princess Olive inevitably goes on a personal journey to learn more about herself all while her group is on an actual adventure, running from trouble. While the story spans a short time frame, it certainly doesn’t lack in substance. There is a big build-up to the final showdown, and this book doesn’t disappoint. The final conflict is highly satisfying – when’s the last time you read or watched something where you could say that?? (I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones.)
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case you should totally judge the book by its cover. That cover design is killer and the story is just as good! Princess Olive is an overall fun read and worthy of purchase whether you fall for the realm of fantasy or not. I give it 5 out of 5 magic wands. Click here to learn more about the author.