Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir
Once upon a time, there was a witch who wanted to imprison a princess in a tower. But she wanted to do it properly, so she made it forty stories tall and filled with varying monsters at every level. Yet the princes never made it passed the first floor, and the princess languished away, as princesses do. Until one day something changed, and the princess decided the only way out was down.
I did not expect to love this Rapunzel retelling as much as I did, but that rather unexpected ending took this from 4.5 stars to a solid 5!
“I wish I might be rescued,” wished Floralinda.
“Too large a wish; make it smaller,” said Cobweb, after a moment.
“I wish that I didn’t have to die,” wished Floralinda.
“You are misunderstanding ‘smaller,'” said Cobweb.
It is so deliciously amoral.
I loved the variety of monsters, the way the chapters are numbered, the love-hate-relationship between Floralinda and Cobweb. While I was annoyed by Floralinda’s dunderheaded dullness, I did like her character growth and how she stumbled into killing things by accident (often nearly dying herself), and how she was aided in her unlikely survival by an angry, aspiring chemist fairy.
I also enjoyed how much attention to detail Muir placed on logistics, something often neglected in fantasy, particularly fantasy where the princess is locked in an unclimbable tower.
And did I mention the monsters?? There are so many that are nearly impossible to kill, and it’s kinda like watching a video game, where the main character ‘levels up’ with each conquest…or levels down in some cases.
Definitely one to read if you’re looking for a quick fairy tale parody with real bite.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review