Fantasy lovers and dog lovers of all ages will enjoy Nix's clever new fairy tale. In a world of tiny kingdoms, it is not easy growing up with a stepstepfather who is an evil sorcerer planning to wrest the kingdom away from the heir. Anya, the younger, and more practical of the two princesses, has always listened to the wisdom of the royal dogs so when she promises to save her sister's suitor who has just been transformed into a frog by their evil stepstepfather, she goes to them for help. When she rescues the wrong frog prince using the last of the transmogrification lip balm she sets out on a quest to acquire the ingredients to make more, accompanied by Ardent, a young dog. Along the way she meets others who have been victims of transformation spells, good thieves, witches, seven dwarves, wizards, sorcerers, and several different Geralds the Herald. Through a danger filled series of adventures she realizes that it is up to her to restore the rule of law expressed All-Encompassing Bill of Rights and Wrongs.
This delightful tale would be a great read aloud for middle grade and middle school audiences. It has the feel of a classic bringing to mind Harry Crewe from Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and Princesses Cimorene from Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles.