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Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel Series have been receiving some remarkable ratings and seems to have been marketed towards teens and adults, which is why I thought I'd give one of her other novels a chance while I could. However, A Posse of Princesses is a more middle-grade sto Rating: However, A Posse of Princesses is a more middle-grade story. It was cute and interesting and I'm sure it would have gotten much better if I had continued with it, but I'm more in the mood for something more sophisticated and serious, hence the reason I'm not finishing this book.

That being said, I'm sure this is a wonderful novel and I would definitely recommend it to younger readers or even older readers who are looking for a quick, light, and interesting read. View all 8 comments. I wrote out a long review and then my computer went wonky and I lost it Great book with many flaws but overcomes those flaws with fantastic, realistic characterizations and situations.

The sort of book I would read to my future kids for the ending alone. Posse has been polished, and a new chapter added. Look for the spiffed version in e-book form. This is the e-book edition, which has been smoothed from the book edition, and also a new scene added near the end. Jan 18, Jia Ling Pan rated it it was ok. I would keep it at 2 stars but I've given 2 stars to books that I've enjoyed less so 2.

It could have been an 'I liked it' book had it not been for a few issues which I can't overlook with this. This is a story about a privileged yet not unkind princess known as Rhis. Our protagonist comes from a good family better than most do when coming from any royal lineage and is in no way in line for the throne; thus she has spent a great many years having her head up in the clou 2.

Our protagonist comes from a good family better than most do when coming from any royal lineage and is in no way in line for the throne; thus she has spent a great many years having her head up in the clouds of romance. Very much a teenager for the most fronts and less a princess. This does work out in her favour though as the story moves along. I won't go too much into the story as the summary of the book above already actually covers a very brief overview of half of the book. That being said, I find the summary very misleading.

The journey to save the kidnapped princess only happens towards the later half of the book, whereas the first half dealt more with the court party Rhis and the other princesses were invited to. Rhis was a fairly interesting character for me to encounter.

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I actually disliked her childishness and her lack of awareness or want of the world as she traveled to meet Prince Lios at the beginning of the book. However, the instant she gets to court, her generosity shines through and her naivety is more charming than annoying. It is in fact her naivete of the ways of court which keeps her manner far more appealing for the general reader as she is both friendly to servants and court people. That always wings in my book as I always love princesses who have a big heart. What is good about her character is that she indeed does grow in character and out of her childishness.

Her friendship with the side characters that accompany her is quite cute. Though I must say I wished I could have read more about Taniva and Yuzhyu, the two foreign princesses who were much more interesting to me than Shera.


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Its perhaps only because I'm not entirely fond of the kind of character Shera turns out to be later on. The obvious romance partner, Prince Lios, is hard to put into words without going into the realm of spoilers. His character had some nice moments even if he comes off as fairly predictable if you've read these sort of stories to death by this time. His interaction with Rhis is cute. Unfortunately for me, what was building to a potentially fodder for the romantic in me; the instant the kidnapping happens the story begins to fall a little flat.

This isn't so much due to the nature of the kidnapping itself, rather how it stunted all the characters. Politically the world had been shaping up rather interestingly despite the semi predictable cast and I thought this was a further exploration into the theme of 'opening her eyes to the nature of the world' for Rhis. While it was some of that, there wasn't enough for me at least. While a lot of the side characters are mentioned doing things which would have been an interesting expansion, sadly those characters also happen to be the ones whom we are introduced with having a severe language barrier with Rhis.

I guess this provided an excuse for the lack of interaction and expansion but I really kept feeling left wanting. As with most kidnap-rescue missions, this one obviously does not go as planned and a turn of events leaves most of the main cast struggling to escape. As they attempt to run, Rhis has an encounter of the magical kind. Early in the book her magical unexplored magical capacity was mentioned but it was never truly explored until that very moment and I couldn't help feeling that it felt a little bit like a plot device.

More so to give her a reason to buck up in her studies towards the end of the book and give her the final shove she needed to become the princess she could be. The lore of magic in the world could be more clearly stated as well. I kept feeling like I would need to dig up some other book to know the details.

All this would not have been an issue for me had the relationship between Rhis and Lios panned out further after the events of the kidnapping. It had reached a stalemate point after all and though I do adore Lios' Queen mother she is quite a character , what she placed upon the two young lovers in hopes to test their love over a span of years was what really left me wanting. What used to be charming conversation was reduced to words exchanged on paper and unfortunately most of their words were rather uninteresting.

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This could have been remedied had they expanded the epilogue or expanded upon it like how she did with Crown Duel, but writing little excerpts of the 'time lost in between'. We don't get that unfortunately and that was a bit of a mood killer for me. The ending is happy in a sort of fairytale yet with hints of attempted realism, just that a little bit of the initial build up charm of the book was lost on me. I also really wanted to know how some characters got together because learning of their courtship would have been extremely interesting.

Despite my issues, this book has its charms. I also can't help feeling like I am judging this book based on my reaction to Smith's other book 'Crown Duel'. This book is decent for a light read but I'd recommend 'Crown Duel' over this one if people asked me to pick. The premises aren't entirely dissimilar and I found the latter far more intriguing and more satisfying. Apr 02, Skye rated it liked it. Enter Rhis, princess of the small kingdom of Nym known for its mountains and gems.

She loves to spend her time in her tower playing her tiranthe and writing ballads.

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She feels no pressure to apply herself in her studies as she is not the heir, and will not grow up to be a royal mage like her sister. Before applying herself she wants to undergo an adventure and a bit of romance. Well lucky for her Queen Briath from a neighboring kingdom has invited all the eligible princesses to her son Lios coming of age party. So Rhis gets a chance to practice courtly behavior as well as be an ambassador for her own kingdom.

Income all the princesses who have hopes of snagging the prince and a series of parties, picnics, dances and all sorts of fun. Rhis finds herself making friends with such interesting characters. There is Taniva of the High Plains whose idea of fun is fighting with her neighboring enemy Jarvas of Damatras.

Yuzhyu of the Isle of Ndai who is sort of left out of everything despite being the princes cousin, and the mysterious and charming Dandiar the princes personal scribe. The characters are really fleshed out, and the ones we end up hating we find out the reason they became that way. This is definitely a girl power sort of book, because although the girls all want the prince they discover more important things like friendship and self worth.

That no one can really be overlooked, because everyone has value. And that falling in love isn't just about looks, but heart and mind. I know the cover is sort of cheesy, but don't let that get in the way. Sherwood Smith makes awesome characters who are practical when necessary but always fun. Jul 17, Christina rated it liked it. Sherwood Smith has always done good female teenagers, as far as I'm concerned, and speaking as someone who was more of the "let's go have an adventure and do stuff" type girl than the "oh god I'm in love" type girl so common in adolescent fiction I'm looking at you, B S I had a good home life and wasn't overly burdened with secrets as a teen.

I got pretty far into the book prepared to give it 4 stars for all-around fun. But you can't do it now, you have to wait to find out whether you really love each other, so I'm not letting you see each other. Ignoring the horrific choice of changing the font to indicate who was writing what, the letter excerpts added nothing to the story, except showing Shera as much shallower than she had been for the rest of the book I was disappointed.

A letter every five years is not enough to maintain any kind of relationship. Either go full-on fairy-tale and have them marry right away or go realistic and let them have a regular correspondence as they do all their growing up. Don't show the letters ugh Papyrus font, and the Arial looked like a frickin' email , just sum up briefly and have them get to see each other at the end. They can still do that "wasn't sure you'd still be up for this whole marriage thing" business, and they'll still have been separated for five years, but at least now there's some element of believability about it.

Feb 27, Kit rated it liked it. I don't know why, but I'm a sucker for books, like The Riddle-Master of Hed, where the royals turn out to be normal everyday joes who know how to do their own cooking and grew up playing in the creek with the kids who grew up to be their advisers. A Posse of Princesses is in the same vein, and I think that's why I liked it.

The teenaged princes and princesses of various vaguely-medieval-with-magic kingdoms meet to form alliances and marriages and get to know each other, at which point they act I don't know why, but I'm a sucker for books, like The Riddle-Master of Hed, where the royals turn out to be normal everyday joes who know how to do their own cooking and grew up playing in the creek with the kids who grew up to be their advisers.

The teenaged princes and princesses of various vaguely-medieval-with-magic kingdoms meet to form alliances and marriages and get to know each other, at which point they act like teenagers and the book starts to seem like The Princess Diaries would if everyone at Albert Einstein High School, and not just Mia, were royal.

This is actually fun and charming. And the adventure that takes up the second third of the book - when the princesses have to work together to combat a threat to the kingdom - is done well. The opening of the book was a bit clumsy. It wasn't so much an info-dump as a calling into play of every low fantasy trope in the book. The magic sometimes felt not enough like a natural part of the world, and more as if it and its rules for use just existed to get the characters into or out of certain situations that were necessary for the plot.

And without giving anything away, the pacing of the ending threw me out of the story entirely just when I should have been most hooked on it. But I liked the book, and I'll be looking for more Sherwood Smith titles. In an issue unrelated to the story or to Sherwood Smith, who I'm sure had nothing to do with it, I have to point out yet another instance of Cover Caucasianness. You wouldn't know this by the cover, in which all the girls are white-anglo.

A raspberry to YA Angst, the publisher, for that! Jan 04, Denae Christine rated it liked it Shelves: This book didn't flow well. The first half had a sedate pace which would be fine if it felt consistent and was well thought out with good dialogue and okay mystery and court intrigue. The second half of the book rushed by and felt completely disconnected.

Too many random and pointless events! And the inciting incident mentioned in the blurb kidnapping happened halfway through the book. Random is not okay. Randomly she sees a magic diamond and randomly decides to steal it and not tell anyone. Randomly Pricess Yuzhou sp? Oh, she doesn't want to be rescued and gets the others captured instead.

No, older sister, I cannot let you rescue me, because I'd be leaving my friends behind. Later, oh, my friends have been rescued and I am the only one left. Take a shortcut, race to the border! Oh, no, the guards left after us and managed to get here before us. And a queen is so against her son getting married to someone he doesn't love that she makes him endure a 5 year courtship where he and his beloved can write once a year and never see each other.

ONE letter a year. Does she not want heirs? No one likes someone they haven't seen or talked to in five years! If this courtship failed, would the queen force him to do it again? The book didn't end very well, though. Poorly resolved and too many random coincidences. Dec 22, Melissa rated it liked it. Honestly, I feel that the blurb was deceiving. I was expecting a story about the adventures of a posse of princesses. You know, chasing after one of their own. Using their own power and resources. Yeah, the whole abduction thing?

It really wasn't that important. In fact, I think the book would have been better if it was left out completely. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the book. It didn't really seem to serve a purpose. They were going to grow up and find other people. And it was going to be like, woah. But kind of realistic.

It seemed like the author wanted to tell two different stories, and she put them in the same book. I don't think it worked well. Feb 12, Greymalkin rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Finally a YA fantasy where the romance is actually believable and charming. I really hate all the "one glance and they knew" type of YA romances that are so endemic Twilight is not the first nor the last, but it's a perfect example of what annoys me so much.

Or if they are going to get infatuated at first glance, at least follow it up with convincing evidence that the two people would actually get along. And there's just no room for that if you are trying to fit all of the long descriptions of his perfect hair and her luminescent eyes. Back to the actual book: I also enjoyed the fact that many of the secondary characters also had very satisfactory romances as well. Great characters and a fun adventure, plus a really enjoyable note on how various personalities matured. I liked the glimpse of how the characters grew up over the five years.

I rather wish the ending hadn't been squished into just a few pages, simply because I was enjoying the book so much. But stylistically I have no problems with it. It emphasized that learning about themselves and learning to think for themselves was the important part, not the "do they or don't they? It's an attitude that I wish more YA books would promote. This was a reread for me - after reading Thea's review at The Book Smugglers , I was tempted into buying the revised e-version with an extra chapter and had no regrets. This felt a bit like a high school story translated to a fantasy setting, with cliques, bullying, and secrets galore - however, Sherwood Smith pulls it off and I loved how Rhis and girl-power came to the fore.

And I really liked how the HEA in this book was a realistic one for a story where the main protagonists are teenagers. Th This was a reread for me - after reading Thea's review at The Book Smugglers , I was tempted into buying the revised e-version with an extra chapter and had no regrets. The high fantasy world will be familiar to long-time readers of Sherwood Smith's fantasies, but at the same time, I think it works perfectly as a standalone. View all 4 comments. I really enjoy Sherwood Smith's books because her heroines are so rarely sword wielding warrior maidens.

I like sword wielding warrior maids just fine, but I do grow tired of them. So many female protagonist in the fantasy genre are ultra tough fighters. It's a breath of fresh air to read about a girl who prefers things like music and dancing to sword-play and horse riding. Plot Rhis, is a rather romantically inclined princess who lives a dull, uninspiring life in her secluded mountain country of I really enjoy Sherwood Smith's books because her heroines are so rarely sword wielding warrior maidens.

Plot Rhis, is a rather romantically inclined princess who lives a dull, uninspiring life in her secluded mountain country of Nym until she receives an invitation to Vesarja.

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The crown Prince Lios is looking for a wife, and all eligible maidens from the surrounding kingdoms are invited. Rhis arrives and promptly falls head-head-over heals for Lios. But all is not as it seems. People mask who they truly are and more than one person would love to get their claws on the tidy fortune Rhis left behind her in Nym. Things I liked Rhis. She grew a lot over the course of the story. She went from being a slightly boy-crazy girl who went around with her head in the clouds to being a responsible adult.

I appreciated that, while her former dreamy self was never a bad thing, she was able to grow and mature too. Another aspect I liked about her character was how genuinely kind she was. She thought about how her actions would affect others, and that was really refreshing. While she did get on my nerves, her letters near the end of the book were very entertaining.

She is a very classic Sherwood Smith sidekick. The first half of the story while everyone was enjoying the party Lios was throwing. I liked the social and political dynamics that were being portrayed. There were characters from many different backgrounds, and reading about how they interacted was quite interesting. She was a very entertaining antagonist, just the sort I like too, the sort that you don't have to feel terribly sorry for. I hate being tricked into liking the bad guys.

I might pity Iardith ever so slightly, but she is so horrible that I felt very comfortable in my dislike of her in general. There were multiple musical characters in this book and I really, really liked that. Rhis is a girl after my own heart when it comes to music, I must say. Music might be rather difficult to write about, because it's hard to transfer something audible to a page, so the music itself wasn't described very much, but Rhis and Shera both enjoy making music.

I loved reading about Rhis practicing and playing her music and the way you can tell she loves it. I liked him a lot at first I thought they were kinda meh. I liked that it had rules, but at the same time it seemed too convenient. I wasn't satisfied with how things played out in that arena. Things I Didn't Like There was a "ring of power" stand in. The passages where Rhis was under the influence of the diamond were really vague and confusing and it detracted from the story. It wasn't a work of unparalleled genius, perhaps it was even a bit silly, but I sincerely enjoyed reading it.

Such a disappointment - because I love this author. However this just didn't cut it. I think this book tried to do too many things - kidnapping, forbidden magic, a love story, corrupt kingdoms, an epistolary novel, etc etc etc. The first pages are about Rhis and her friends attending balls and parties. Then suddenly about halfway through the book, a bunch of girls dash off to rescue another girl who has been kidnapp Such a disappointment - because I love this author.

Then suddenly about halfway through the book, a bunch of girls dash off to rescue another girl who has been kidnapped. I'm not sure why they do this wouldn't it have made more sense to send guards or something versus members of several royal families??? Then that storyline is forgotten and the weird magic element takes over. That was around page Then the love story was back for the ending.


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It moved from plot to plot like it wasn't sure what to do. I didn't really warm to any of the characters either. Rhis was rather stupidly naive, and while I liked Shera in the beginning, I couldn't stand her by the end. She was just too boy crazy. Yuzhyu and Taniva were too hard to understand with their weird accents. Iardith was the stereotypical beautiful yet snotty girl. Overall a disappointment considering how much I have enjoyed this author's other works.