What I love about this book is that it's a total deviation from the usual corny, cheesy and low brow fairy tale retellings. Zahler makes a beautiful spiralling narration in a neat package- a nourishing and refreshing take of a classic story that has taken its own form, and from there the author has skillfully raised it to a higher notch.
I bought this item after reading the sample pages posted by Amazon, which is very good because it's because of reading them that I was convinced of buying the book. Let's say Erec Rex got me reading with interest the first chapter or so, and then I was thrown into a pit and never got out. When I ordered this book I hoped it would turn out to be as good as the sample pages. And No Regrets! I went in for a treat, a very pleasant ride that I would like to go back to. Among the others that I've read this book is a stand out. For one, The Princess Academy was a disastrous read for me; Tamora Pierce's even didn't work out for me as good as this one but definitely The Thirteenth Princess made my day! It rises above the others in that it was for me a page turner and I love that the main character, young as she is, is strong and not distressing, goodhearted yet naturally whiny in a delightful and amusing way. Zita is very real and three-dimensional. All the characters are also surprisingly palpable.
However there indeed was one chapter where I skipped a lot of paragraphs because I felt it was dragging me, and also because I had to know the end result right away that I couldn't wait! I'm still giving my 5 star thumbs up. I'll keep this book with my The Chronicles of Narnia set because I believe it's worth reading the second time in the future, and maybe more. I'm hoping for the author that this book would turn out to be a classic.