Princess Anya has problems: Her sister, Morven, is devastated by the transformation of handsome Prince Denholm into a frog; her evil stepstepfather (yes, you read that right), Duke Rikard, is becoming a more evil and powerful sorcerer by the day; and it’s recently become quite clear that Rikard wants Anya dead. All Anya wants is to stay in her library and read about magic, but her unbreakable sister-promise to restore Prince Denholm to human form leads to an increasingly complicated Quest.
Through the woods surrounding Trallonia, farther than she has ever traveled, Anya journeys with Ardent, a faithful royal dog; Shrub, a would-be thief transformed into a newt; and Smoothie, a river otter transformed into a girl. Anya’s list of tasks—and people to un-transform—grows, and Rikard is hot on their trail. Anya started out wanting to return to her solitary library as soon as possible, but the Quest opens her eyes to the deeper responsibilities of being a princess and, more importantly, a leader.
A master of creating beloved fantasy worlds, Garth Nix turns to the funny, whimsical and self-aware style less common in recent children’s fantasy. Shot through with the tone of adventurous fairy-tale riffs such as The Princess Bride, this novel is a rollicking breath of fresh air and a return to fantasy with room for fun and mischief.