The Princess and the Fool is a story about a princess named Katherine,
and a Fool who is sort of her friend and bodyguard. Katherine has to marry the
king of the neighboring kingdom, Warwick, because if she does it’ll apparently
heal the broken relationship between the kingdoms and end the war. She doesn’t
want to and on the way to her wedding she runs off, and while she’s chatting to
her Fool and considering her options her father, king Duncan, is set upon by
bandits and killed. So suddenly Katherine is not only destined to marry
Warwick, she’s also queen. She and the Fool go on the run so she won’t be
killed by the creepy bandits as well. And they go on a caper through the
country side, and that’s fun.
This was written by a guy who also makes YouTube videos. He isn’t in the
batch of YouTubers who got book deals, in fact I think it’s self-published. He
is a writer who just happens to have a YouTube channel. His videos are great,
by the way. He’s delightful and grumpy. There’s a sentence you hear a lot.
The book is written from a bunch of perspectives. It can sometimes feel
a bit hack-y, which it didn’t here. I feel like the multiple perspectives worked. The
voices were distinct and interesting and they were different enough for them to
feel like they were needed.
It was really funny. It’s written mostly in a very conversational style.
And I feel like especially the Fool and Althea, who is a minor character, were
sassy and snarky, and they were really good. Katherine is also really funny,
but she’s a bit more haughty and sarcastic, she feels very distinct. The book
also pokes fun at knights in shining armor I feel. Warwick is not only king,
he’s a great fighter, he’s tall and dashing and handsome. He’s also very…
honorable and kind and moral all the time. He’s like a take-charge kind of guy
and he just fulfills every “Knight stereotype” ever, and I loved him. He’s also
at the same time well rounded, he’s not just the stereotype. He has a history
and agency and he’s a good guy.
I really liked Katherine. I feel like she had excellent growth, and she
was clever and she had a very natural development. I also think her decisions
were rational and smart and while she was only 18 she was very mature and she did
what she had to. She might have wanted to go with her heart, but she did what
was best for her people, which I respect. Good job Kathy.
I totally called the twist by the way. I’m not saying it’s obvious, at
all. I just like being a “detective” and making wild accusations, and I thought
I was wrong for a long time, and then weirdly pleased with myself. I also do
this when I watch detective TV shows, the wilder my logic the better. I am a
delight to watch TV with.
I do think that it had a bit too much happening. There’s a lot of
backstory, and a lot of hinting, and there’s a lot of world building, and the
book isn’t even 400 pages. So I think it could have done with some professional
editing here and there, although I really liked it. I think there is supposed
to be another one (?), in which case this had to lay the groundwork, and do
world building, and everything, but it felt a little crowded at times.
I liked it. I thought it was nice and funny, and it was snarky and fun. It
felt like a sort of traditional knight and princess story but made, modern is
not the word I’m looking for. It feels like the language is modern. It’s not
stilted and “olde,” it’s modern and funny. Which I loved. It was great.