The Dryad's Cede, Book Two
YA Fantasy / Retelling
When Prince Anders disappears from the Palace in very mysterious circumstances, his childhood friend Eliza suspects there may be truth in the myths and legends of the land. The decision to test her theories results in a test of her own strengths, and in searching for the missing prince she finds answers to questions about her own past.
Several myths and well known fairy tales skip and twist in unexpected ways to create an exciting tale with wonderful characters.
Eliza was handed over to a young man in a small town shortly under mysterious circumstances shortly after her birth by her mother, who swore it'd be better never to see her again. Over the years, Eliza becomes good friends with the royal family and especially the two princes. When one of them goes suddenly missing, she's determined to find out if the myths behind an Snow Queen are true, and her adventure takes her not only in directions she never dreamed possible, but ones which are also very dangerous.
This is the second book in a trilogy. I did read the first one (and enjoyed it quite a bit), but these can be read as stand alones, too.
I enjoy how the author takes well-known legends and myths and swirls them together in various ways. Some are more dribbled in, while others have a larger presence in the tale. It's fun to see these well known characters go in new and yet familiar directions, and form their very own legends and myths along the way. Anyone who enjoys retellings is going to enjoy this trilogy because it packs tons of lovely surprises.
In many ways, this sticks to the traditional, story-telling feel, while incorporating a few aspects which make everything familiar too. Eliza is an easy character to like as are many of the characters in the book. I was surprised how quickly I was caught up in the tale, and it was very hard to make myself put it down. I would have liked to have a little more background surrounding the evil characters, but this didn't hurt the story as it is, either.
I'd recommend this one more for the younger end of the young adult audience and upper middle graders. While Eliza is seventeen and her friends are starting usual jobs and going to college, the writing slides better in with ages 10 to 14. But then, even adults can get lost in this one, since I'm not sure how many readers of these ages will know all of the myths and legends included. Either way, it's a treat.