Welcome to the November 20th review stop on the blog tour for A Peculiar Royal by Alonna Williams, organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights with excerpts, other reviews, guest posts by the author, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)
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A Peculiar Royal
by Alonna Williams
Published 18 November 2020
by Blue Gingham Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Page Count: 360
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
The time has come for King Dorian Lockridge to find an heir for the country of Odsia; after the murder of his son, daughter-in-law and grandson fifteen years ago, he knew that sooner or later he’d need to find someone worthy to take the throne…
Spending fifteen years on the streets, doing whatever it took to make sure he and his friends survived from day to day, hasn’t been easy for Tristan.
Having never found remains of his grandson, doubt of his demise lingers in Dorian’s heart; until one day, he finally makes a proclamation, searching for the orphaned Prince of Odsia.
When Tristan discovers the truth about himself, his whole world changes. How will he adjust to royal living after such a difficult upbringing? And who was behind the murder of his parents so long ago?
My Rating: 4 Stars (Considering “liking” my review on Goodreads)
I received a complimentary eARC of A Peculiar Royal by Alonna Williams through Silver Dagger Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
A Peculiar Royal is the story of 17 year old Tristan, an orphan street rat who discovers that he’s actually the country’s long lost prince. A dream come true for any lowborn kid, right? Not for Tristan. Tristan spends his first few days in the palace trying to run away back to his beggar friends, only to find when he finally gets to see them again that they’re too hurt and jealous to accept them now that he has taken his true place among the royalty. Meanwhile the man who had been presumed the default successor of the aging king and queen had the true heir not been born would like very much to see Tristan disappear again.
I absolutely loved this book! The characters are such a joy to read and although the plot is somewhat predictable and formulaic (forgivable, given it’s intended for preteens) it’s highly entertaining none the less.
While I was reading I was under the impression that this was a YA novel, given Tristan’s late-teens age and the typical “coming of age” themed hurdles he faces, so I felt critical of how “young” the narrative voice felt. When I started drafting my tour stop for this book I noticed it is in fact intended to be middle grade, which means it’s written at a middle grade level, so this is perfect.
I noticed that many of the locations in this book are a letter or two off the names of real places or characters from mythology. For example: Iscarius/Icarus, Haviana/Havana, Grecia-Romaina/Greco-Roman. Again, when I thought this was YA I was a little annoyed because I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a charming easter egg or not, but re-assessing in middle grade terms these familiar yet different names are perfect.
I do have a couple criticisms that still stand even under middle grade considerations, though. First, a comment King Dorian makes near the beginning indicates this is set in the early half of the 19th century, yet everyone speaks with generous amounts of 21st century colloquialisms. Second, Tristan is frequently called “kid” or “child” despite being a 17-year-old forced to grow up quickly on the streets. He wouldn’t behave like a child, he wouldn’t think of himself as a child, and he probably wouldn’t look like a child. Third, everyone in this book has a stutter when they’re nervous, surprised or flustered. Everyone.
Despite these minor complaints I did absolutely adore this book, its characters, and the unique position taken on the fairytale-come-true situation Tristan finds himself in. I didn’t want the book to end! I would love to read more from this author, be it in this world or otherwise.
Alonna Williams is a children’s book author and has been writing ever since she was a little girl. It started with a short story and soon progressed to novels. Alonna has worked on, and grew up with a Pirate series entitled, Pirates of the Withering Coast, her favorite series of all, as well as a mystery series, a Sci-Fi/Superhero series and more! When she’s not writing you’ll most likely find her dancing, whether it be, Tap, Ballet, Jazz or Lyrical, or watching a good classic movie or cozying up to a Disney film!
One lucky follower of the tour will walk away with a $25 Disney gift card! Visit other stops on the tour for more chances to enter. Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway.
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