Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Sir Princess Petra's Talent. Written by Diane Mae Robinson Illustrated by Samantha Kickingbird. Available in Paperback & Ebook
Great sequels do not come around as often as you might like. I can think of a few off hand that this book falls in line with: The Empire Strikes Back, How to Train your Dragon 2, The Two Towers, Cocoon: The Return (well maybe not that last one, I only hoped that movie would reach the greatness of it's predecessor :). Yes, Sir Princess Petra's Talent has all of the qualities of a good sequel. It builds on an already excellent, humorous, and intelligent story. It gives an expanded view and appreciation for the characters under discussion. It makes reference to the 1st book in the series without relying solely on that book for repeated intrigue. In other words, it stands on its own while still tying into the original book. Two characters who started off as enemies of the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu are now heroes. One even enters into knighthood unexpectedly. Like any good sequel the things that were good and funny about the first book are piled on in even fuller dosage here. The onions that are shown to be a staple of the kingdom are referenced with delightful cheerfulness again and again. We are introduced to partners in new neighboring realms that have remarkably funny qualities like crablips and pink colors everywhere. And my favorite part from the first book, the fact that visitors from a nearby swampy kingdom have to enter Petra's homeland to dry off on occasion, is brought up again. This is no different than people from Alaska traveling to Hawaii every winter to get a break from all the snow and cold temps, but its much more funny of a concept. Also, I would be remiss not to mention the map at the beginning of the book. One of the things I have always enjoyed about the Terry Brook's books I read growing up, is constantly referring to the detailed maps before, after, and during the reading of the book. Maps are an absolute when writing about fantastical lands, and Ms. Robinson does not deny us of one here. This is a triumphant return to a land that I am growing more fond of with each read.