Review of Kirstin Pulioff’s The Escape of Princess Madeline

My mom wanted me to be a lawyer; my dad wanted me to attend the Naval Academy and then become a doctor. (He would have settled for Princeton University, too…) I am sure many of our parents wanted certain things for us and had our best interests in mind, but how many of us were forced to do what our parents said (beyond finishing our dinner, doing our homework, etc.)?

Princess Madeline, the main character in Kirstin Pulioff’s The Escape of Princess Madeline, is no different from many of us in that her father, King Theodore, expects something of her future. In her case, it is to choose a suitor and marry at age 16. There is no room for debate with him, but the headstrong princess has other plans. Her desire to change her predetermined course causes an adventure to enfold…an adventure that I recommend be read by young adults and even older ones, too.

I found this book to be well written and so descriptive that you could place yourself right in the story, and the book moved along at a nice pace. As a reader, I could feel Madeline’s despair and couldn’t help but pull for the princess, who showed herself to be intelligent, resourceful, and determined…all traits I think we would love to see in our children. In fact, I felt all the characters were relatable, including her brother, who is jealous of Madeline; and King Theodore, who obviously loves his daughter but needs to adjust some of his ideas (as does Madeline). The wisdom that has come with some of my gray hairs helps me see Madeline’s position of wanting to carve her own path, as well as the position of King Theodore, who believes he knows best for his child.

Again, I had Abby, who is 10, read the book, and this is what she had to say: “I thought the book was really descriptive, and because of the descriptive writing, I was able to figure out what everyone looked like and what they were doing. When I was reading the book, I thought certain things were going to happen, but then the opposite happened, and I really liked being surprised. The book also had good use of vocabulary. I also like how Madeline and her dad bonded at the end, and that Madeline wore her mom’s dress, which made her dad think of her mom. I like how Madeline was adventurous and wanted to explore the world. I like how Madeline realized that she made some mistakes and knew she needed to fix them. Because of that, I feel that Madeline became more aware of herself and the things that she does and her surroundings.”

Abby, who also wants to know how the author came up with the idea for the story, and I look forward to Kirstin Pulioff’s next book, The Battle for Princess Madeline.

Kirstin Pulioff’s website is www.kirstinpulioff.com . You can follow her on Twitter @KirstinPulioff. Links to purchase The Escape of Princess Madeline include http://tinyurl.com/d23uhb3 and http://tinyurl.com/csh2osx.

2 Responses to “Review of Kirstin Pulioff’s The Escape of Princess Madeline”

  1. Kirstin April 23, 2013 7:05 pm #

    I am so glad that you both enjoyed the book. There are certainly the qualities of a timeless fairytale that will relate to the older readers, and the fun adventure for the younger readers.

    Please tell Abby that the idea for this story just came to me one day. When I sat down and started writing, this was the story that leapt form my pencil to the paper… a princess determined to live a life on her terms, a coming of age story with both the traditional pieces and a modern feeling in the characters. This is a story that I would have enjoyed reading as a youth, and that I still enjoy to this day.

    • April 23, 2013 9:18 pm #

      Thank you–I will tell Abby.

      I find it so interesting to see what inspires us or where we get ideas. I was speaking to a second-grade class, and one of the children told me how he was inspired to write a book because he saw his teacher eating ice cream. He got the idea to write about a magic ice cream cup that automatically refills with ice cream once someone is done eating from it. The way that ideas come to us is just one reason why I love writing, and I am so happy that there are so many different stories out there for all of us to enjoy.

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