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5.0 out of 5 starsCan 2nd take 1st place? I think it does for me...
Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2015
Usually a second installment of most trilogies sets up the third. After reading "The Underground Princess" I will say, not this time. J. W. Zulauf blew me away with this exciting story. I have to say this is my favorite story at this juncture. A very inspiring and motivating tale of the Prince of Balderdash. A story of courage, sacrifice, & family. The Prince's character is unveiled as you witness his social struggle to survive in two very different worlds. After all, the richest place is the graveyard...so many ideas unknown...J.W. Zulauf brings it to life.
While reading this second installment in "The Balderdash Saga," it became clear to me that J.W. Zulauf is one very talented "kidlit" author! I suppose I was aware of this while reading (and thoroughly enjoying!) Book 1 - "The Underground Princess" with my daughter, but as good as that story was, I liked this one just a bit more. A fun, rollicking adventure right from the first page, "The Prince's Plight" dances between the world of the living and the underground (but far from dead!) kingdom of Balderdash, as Prince Kaylan fights to protect a living girl from the clutches of the evil Lord Faron.
As in the other book, the writing is first-rate, the characters are well-rounded and interesting, and the story is engaging. Mr. Zulauf knows his audience well, and provides plenty of morality lessons without ever talking down to them. I particularly enjoyed the way he sprinkles the text with more complex words to challenge his readers and help expand their vocabularies, yet at the same time frames those words in well-constructed sentences so as to not "lose" his reader. I suspect Mr. Zulauf would make as fine a teacher as he is a writer!
The Balderdash Saga books are chapter books aimed at young readers (ages 6 to 11, approximately) and if you're in the market, you cannot go wrong with this purchase! Excellent storytelling and beautiful, whimsical illustrations (I wish there were more - minor complaint) combine to make an enjoyable reading experience, whether you are reading with your child or letting them "fly solo!"
Yes, the stories do deal with corpses and macabre elements, but the books are not at all nightmare-inducing. Mr. Zulauf has created a wonderful fantasy landscape, and I promise, you'll enjoy these rich, lively characters so much you'll forget they are "undead."
Bravo, Mr. Zulauf! My daughter and I eagerly await the next installment!
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Balderdash Saga is one my favorite children's series
Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2015
The Balderdash Saga is one my favorite children's series. It all starts with "The Underground Princess" where we learn about the strange, and surprisingly non-frightening kingdom of Balderdash. The real threat quickly becomes apparent and we follow our group of heroes as they work to save their way of life... But what happens when those who start off on the opposite side of the heroes might not be the villian everyone assumes they are?
The Princes Plight picks up the tale where UPP left off and answers the question! We follow the prince through his own journey as he figures out what is really in his heart. Will he be the bad apple everyone seems to think he is, or will he become the hero? It's a great book that offers a good lesson for the kids.
5.0 out of 5 starsWhile I enjoyed the first book immensely (The Underground Princess)
Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2016
While I enjoyed the first book immensely (The Underground Princess), this one took the cake for me. The prince wasn't at all who I expected, and it was nice to see how he faced challenges and faced his own desires. He is truly an awesome character. Well done, as usual for J.W. Zulauf! I really hope more books in this series make their debut soon!!
5.0 out of 5 starsThis book is as good as the first one
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2015
This book is as good as the first one! You can relate to the tough decision the prince needs to make, while understanding the consequences. It is wonderful to learn even more about the amazing underground world and the shaman's history. Looking forward to the next one!