Book Review – Princess Petrina and the Witch’s Curse by James Sutherland

First published, 2018

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

A children’s story, the narrative follows the titular Princess Petrina as she approaches the date of her Coming of Age ceremony, and is suddenly afflicted by a curse that predates her birth.

Years ago, when her father, King Trevor, went hunting in the woods, he managed to shoot a witch with a bow and arrow, having mistaken her for a pig. To mitigate his error, he went on to tell the witch exactly what he’d thought she was. Fast forward seventeen years and the King’s bumbling mistake has brought about a magical affliction on the face of his only child. Only the unknown witch can reverse the spell but, after so many years, who will search for her? And where will they even begin to look?

A traditional-feeling fairy story, with some humour that I think parents, aunties and uncles, will enjoy along with the young audience, I really loved the fact that (spoiler) Petrina doesn’t have to wait for a handsome prince or a Scottish-accented ogre, or even her father to rescue her. She’s a short, headstrong, clever, bossy young woman (can’t think who she reminds me of) and she’s more than capable of rescuing herself. A great bedtime story.

Although I genuinely think this is a really great story, I’d implore parents to read this to their children as it would be nice to think that, in years to come, there’ll be a generation for whom I won’t have to spell my name.

“‘If you’re too scared to go and find this witch,’ she cried, ‘then I shall go myself.’
“For a split second, this struck King Trevor as a rather splendid idea. Then he remembered, he was the king and she was his daughter. It would not go down well with the people if he were to send her off on such a dangerous mission whilst he, ruler of all the lands between the Great Sea of the North and the Medium-sized Sea of the South, stayed at home to eat his kippers…”
38% in, Chapter Nine, Princess Petrina and the Witch’s Curse by James Sutherland

The recommended reading age is 6-12. I put this in only as a guide because I’m 39 and I loved it.