Review: Princess Juniper of the Hourglass by Ammi-Joan Paquette

princess juniper of the hourglass by ammi joan paquette cover

In this royal adventure, Princess Juniper learns what it means to rule a kingdom–at least for the summer.

For her thirteenth nameday all Princess Juniper wants is a country of her own. So when rumblings of unrest start in his kingdom, Juniper’s father decides to grant his daughter’s wish and sends her to a small, idyllic corner of the Hourglass Mountains until trouble blows over. Once there, Juniper discovers that ruling a small country–even just for the summer–is a bit harder than she’d expected, especially when cousin Cyril challenges her rule. Still, the most difficult part is to come. Juniper and her friends discover that her father’s kingdom is at war. The only way to stay safe is to remain in the Hourglass Mountains much longer than planned. Juniper may have her own country after all . . . but what will that mean for the kingdom of Torr?

Description taken from Goodreads.

I’ve been reading a lot of MG books directed at girls lately, but this one takes the cake for most non-boyish. If you’re looking for a book that has the same feeling as the Disney princess movies, then this is a pretty good start.

The book as a whole can feel pretty contrived, especially with the inclusion of specific details, characters or plot events, but as a whole it was a pretty good novel. I enjoyed the idea that Juniper had to start up her own “kingdom”, and the self conflict she felt after hearing what was happening to her father’s kingdom was great. Juniper and her friends had to survive on their own, so it wasn’t all just politics. For the most part, Paquette did a great job of portraying this and making it believable.

Juniper learns a lot over the course of this story (such as that she can’t completely control her people just because she says) and I enjoyed the inclusion of Cyril as someone she argued with frequently but eventually came to work with. While the cover is pretty awful, I ended up enjoying the story and watching the characters grow.

This is good for a quick read, but not one that I’d reread. It’s just not for me. The narrative was childish and Juniper irritated me more than once, even if she eventually won me over. Would recommend, but not for older audiences. 2.5 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 288

Series: Princess Juniper #1


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