This young adult novel, told in the protagonist’s diary entries, mostly detailing a flight across a hostile land in the company of a handsome prince, offers many opportunities for Lee to play with and subvert assorted fairy tale conventions. This ranges from minor details — female characters who are overweight, old, and/or bald are described as beautiful, huzzah — to a general “things may not be as they first appear” theme which manifests itself in a variety of contexts. The mood of the milieu is more post-technological decadent than pre-industrial; Claidi, our first person guide, describes it economically and impressionistically. The diary entry form has some weaknesses; since we only read what Claidi thinks is worth writing down, evolutions in her relationships with other characters sometimes seem a bit unfounded. The ending was a bit abrupt, and definitely had some elements of “set up the next book.”
needs more demons? maybe.