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Friday, May 7, 2010

A Princess of Roumania - Paul Park

Read for the Once Upon a Time IV Reading Challenge.

Miranda is a pretty typical teenager living with her adoptive parents in a small college town in western Massachusetts. She was born in Romania, but has little memory of life there before Rachel and Stanley saw her and took her away.

What she doesn’t know that she isn’t really an orphan. She’s actually a princess in an alternate reality where Roumania is a major world power. Because she’s a pawn in a major power struggle, her aunt has hidden her away in our world, but she’s suddenly pulled back to her home with two friends: Peter and Andromeda, who are changed by the trip to another reality.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It’s the first book in a series, so there’s a great deal of story set up. I really enjoyed the parts of the book in Roumania, where the counterpart to our world’s Nicolae Ceausescu (late communist dictator) is Nicola Ceausescu, a woman who’s schemed her way into the Roumanian ruling class. Nicola’s parts of the book are great. She’s the greatest kind of bad guy, one who you’re not really sure is entirely bad.

Miranda’s section of the book fell a little flatter for me. The set up, in our Massachusetts, was great, but when she’s pulled into an alternate Massachusetts that’s still a frontier forest, the action got a bit repetitive. There was quite a bit of angst in the forest that could have been skipped. Still, overall, I really liked this book, and I’ll be very interested to see where it goes once Miranda is in Roumania, and learns what it means to be the white tyger.

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