The Prince and the Puppet Thief by Justin Arnold

I really loved The Prince and the Puppet Thief. This was a true fairy tale retelling that definitely didn’t take itself too seriously.

Simon the Squirm is the son of the (second) most feared bandit in the kingdom and when we meet him he is stuffed into a cannon, ready to be fired to the tallest tower of the castle in order to steal some jewelled slippers. See what I mean about not taking itself seriously?

Simon also loves fairytales and the botched robbery sets into motion his own fairytale adventure, complete with dancing rats, sassy handmaids, the funniest bandits ever and some seriously cute queer relationships.

I loved everything about this book – did I mention I loved it? The writing style was very witty and I loved the little references and “skits” that poked fun at the fairytales we know and love. We even get an alternative version of The Snuggly Duckling pub from Tangled!

The villain of the story is captivating: they are both misunderstood and jaded by their past; trying to help but ruining lives when things don’t go their way. The fact that the reader ends up sympathising with them really says a lot about both the writing and character development within this story.

But for me the relationships stole the show: I loved the contrast between one relationship which was very new and tension-filled, where the characters didn’t know if their feelings were going to be accepted, never mind reciprocated and the second, forbidden but very settled relationship where the characters had been in love for some time.
There were some moments where the LGBTQ characters were not entirely accepted by others and I can’t speak as to whether this would be triggering or not. Thankfully the main characters are very strong, they stand up for themselves and are so sure of their love that, by the end of the book, they are accepted for who they are.

If you’re looking for a funny, cute but sassy, camp fairytale-turned-on-it’s-head then this is the book for you!

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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