Although this may seem to be a children’s book first, it is one of the few children’s books that does not treat the reader like a young dolt. You won’t find anything ‘childish’ here so that even adults like me can enjoy the story. In fact the book has a feminist overtone, with I like. Petra is not just any other princess; she is a symbol of the voice of protest against the existing patriarchy (and as if to prove her point she actually chooses the most dangerous of all tasks):
“Where is it written that a girl cannot be a knight and protect her kingdom?”
While this may seem like an innocent dialog at first, it is actually replete with meanings. This is a story that all girls (and their parents too) must read. Even in the 21st century, there are certain backward societies where girls are not offered proper opportunities to grow and face challenges like their male counterparts, which is just shameful really. They are petted and made to believe that:
” “You are a princess … a girl. You must be big and brave and mean and nasty to be a royal”
Of course one does not need to be ‘mean and nasty’ to become a knight; that is presumptuous.
This story teaches you that girls too can do just about anything that only boys are expected to do! A lot of the societal restrictions we find ourselves in today are not mentioned in any law book either; we humans, being creatures of habit, learn faster to adapt to existing rules rather than challenge them; if only more of us challenged those artificial restrictions like Petra did, the world would have been much more interesting and peaceful indeed. Very impressed.
As a side note, I did not know about this first book in the series so the “first book” I actually read was the second book in the series. I was so impressed with the story that I wanted to grab the prequel too. Although the story in the prequel is just as exciting (probably even more) as the second book, I am just a little disappointed with its short length. I wish I had more to read!