Rise of the Dark Princess Warrior
by Isaiah Fransen
Print Length: 160 pages
Reviewed by Kathy L. Brown
Princess Warrior Tasha must save the world. Again!
Tasha has barely had a moment’s rest after her most recent adventure when rumors of a new enemy reach her. A Dark Princess Warrior with a magical sword, very much like (and maybe stronger than?) Tasha’s own weapon, aims to overtake the kingdom, enslave the villagers, and destroy everything in her path. The Dark Princess Warrior leads a strong army of creatures, and her floating fortress is at the ready.
Tasha enlists her friends and frenemies to help her save their world: The Troll Queen and her people are always strong allies. Pablo, the Bounty Hunter, agrees to an uneasy partnership, just for this crisis. Along with their faithful animal companions—Tasha’s horse Max and Pablo’s dragon—and magical items, they quest, fight the Dark Princess Warrior, then quest some more. And fight yet again! This enemy will not stay down.
The plot points have a progressive episodic quality, much in common with a fantasy roleplaying game adventure. The story has a video-game feel, with lots of challenges, conflicts, and perils. Within each victory are the seeds of a quick turnaround in fortune, for both the princess warriors. The story does a great job of keeping the heroes in constant peril.
The story has a breathless, excited voice that will appeal to a young audience, as well as description chapter titles like “Pablo the Bounty Hunter’s Rage,” in which we learn “Tasha used her magic sword to fight Pablo the bounty hunter and his dragon! Pablo the bounty hunter used his dragon to blow fire at Tasha! Tash tried to put out the flames using her sword with water. Then Pablo the bounty hunter felt something wasn’t right!” There are no paragraph breaks in the book, however, which may be a barrier for some readers, and the narrative is primarily summary with little use of scenes to show the action.
Pablo the bounty hunter is a character who changes throughout the story: that is, he changes sides in the fight. And always at the worst possible moment. While most of the characters do not grow as people (in a figurative sense), they are lively action heroes, and their taunts and catch phrases are amusing. The Dark Princess Warrior is particularly full of delightful snark and a quick wit. “The dark princess warrior said to Pablo the bounty hunter, “I know a betrayal when I see it! You are now my enemy and I shall destroy you, Tasha, and the trolls!
A fun feature of the story is the important role of the animal companions—we always know what Max, the horse, and Pablo’s riding dragon are up to, and they are important allies for Tasha.
Readers who enjoy action-packed, sword-and-sorcery style fantasy fiction may enjoy Rise of the Dark Princess Warrior.
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