The Princess Beard: The Tales of Pell

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A princess is trapped by a sleeping spell. You’ve probably heard this one before. But in Pell, fairy tale tropes work a little differently. In this case, the princess wakes up with a beard as well as lengthy tresses, but she decides to keep the beard. In fact, she abandons the princess life entirely and joins a pirate crew. With a parrot captain, a magic-wielding centaur, a dryad law student, and an elven researcher all seeking their place in the world, the bearded princess-turned-pirate is set for some unlikely adventures!

Dawson and Hearne reunite for the third offering in their Tales of Pell series but don’t worry if you haven’t read the earlier books. The Princess Beard proudly stands on its own as a shamelessly punny fantasy novel that gleefully skewers tropes while celebrating the genre as a whole. Not since Peter David’s Sir Apropos of Nothing has fantasy humor been this silly, this charming, or this relentless.

The novel manages to take one of my favorite fantasy cliches — the cast of misfits who come together and find themselves — and makes it feel fresh, with dangerous unexpected consequences for some characters and ridiculous, yet poignant, discoveries for others. Despite the light tone, the characters endure genuine hardship and feel like complete, three-dimensional beings.

With careful plotting as razor-keen as the wordplay strewn across every page, The Princess Beard is unabashed fun, but with greater depth than you’d expect.

Reviewed By:

Author Kevin Hearne
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Del Rey
Publish Date 2019-10-08
ISBN 9781524797805
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2020
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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