Garth Nix’s newest offering is a fairytale story of a princess, a prince, a wicked stepstepfather, and a transformation into a frog – of course. Pitched at middle grade, this wise and wonderful story not only subverts tired tropes of the genre, but also charms and beguiles along the way.
Although I admit to being a huge fan of Nix, I have to say that I really think this is a book which I would love even if he hadn’t written it. It’s so funny and cute, and charming in a very real and endearing way. Piccadilly Press provided this copy for free, but I loved it so much I’m tempted to go out and buy a copy for myself as well.
‘Wise and wondrous’ – Holly Black
Garth Nix is on hilarious form as he spins his very own fairy tale, featuring Princess Anya, who, with her loyal dog, must embark on a terribly important (capital Q) Quest to acquire the ingredients for a reversal lip balm, the vital item needed to change a frog back to a prince . . . oh, and save her kingdom from her villainous step(step)father.
A brilliantly funny take on fairytales and quests for younger readers.
First things first – the cover art alone in this post just doesn’t do justice to how beautiful the actual hardback Frogkisser! is. With a beautiful slip cover, bright yellow bookmark, gorgeous froggy endpapers and elegant leaf detailing on each chapter heading, this book was a delight to look at, even before I started to read. Piccadilly Press have outdone themselves with the print quality on this one.
I’m a big fan of fairytales in general, but this one really blew me away. Anya is the younger princess, not first in line for the throne, and it’s not even her prince who got turned into a frog, yet a Sister Promise means that she ends up on a Quest to create an anti-transmogrification lipbalm to return Prince Denholm to his usual, non-hopping self.
Accompanied from the off by her loyal Royal Dog, Ardent, Anya meets a host of characters on her Quest, from the bright orange poisonous newt Shrub to the Association of Responsible Robbers, learning more about her own kingdom along the way.
Far from being just a tale of a girl and her dog on a magical adventure, Frogkisser! also touches on issues of privilege and responsibility, allowing Anya (and the reader) to reflect on her situation without ever feeling preachy.
Loaded with humour and a cast of transmogrified humans and animals, Anya’s Quest (capital Q, you know) is a sweet and endearing tale of a girl on a mission to save a frog – and possibly more than that.