Sunday, February 6, 2011

Review of Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore

Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore; Holiday House, 2010.

Princess Ivory Isadora Imperia Irene, known as Ivy, heiress to the kingdom of Ardendale, finds out when she is ten-years-old about “The Dragon Treaty”. Under its terms, she is to be locked in a tower and guarded by a dragon until a prince can slay the dragon and lay claim to Ivy as his bride, her kingdom as his own, and the dragon’s treasure. The treaty is in effect to insure that Ardendale will always have a king and so that the dragons living in the nearby Smoke Sand Hills will not become extinct. When Prince Romil arrives with his entourage from faraway Glacia to fight the dragon, Ivy tries everything she can think of to persuade him to leave. She cannot bear the thought of such an unpleasant, arrogant prince ruling her beloved Ardendale. After being placed in the tower, she manages to escape, befriend a dragon, and hatch a plan to save Ardendale from sure destruction.

Ivy Ever After is a delightful fairy tale, with a twist on the stereotypical damsel in distress! The main characters are charming—Ivy is an unconventional, funny, and resourceful. Since Ivy has been grown up without a mom and has free rein of the entire kingdom, she is friends with everyone in court; in fact, her best friends, Rose and Clarinda, are daughters of the kitchen staff! The girls are loyal and fierce in their devotion to Ivy. Ivy’s nursemaid, Tildy, is loving, but disapproving of how Ivy behaves; Ivy’s father, the king, is a little addled, but dotes on his daughter and is happy to let her have fun while she is young. Elridge, the small dragon who was to guard the tower, is sweet, but very protective of Ivy. Drusilla, Ivy’s long-lost fairy godmother, and her goat, Toadstool, were hilarious in their antics! On the other hand Prince Romil and his staff are evil, critical, and devious in their plans to take over Ardendale and destroy it! The way that Ivy, the dragons, and Drusilla plot to save Ardendale was ingenious!

The plot has lots of action, suspense, and funny moments to keep the reader wanting more! I highly recommend Ivy Ever After for upper elementary, middle school, high school, and public libraries!