Tallulah and the runaway prince


Worth reading 😎

Pleasant story about a prince who runs away from home to join his dad, but not enough bite.

This is a nice, moderately imaginative story about a prince (the future Henry III) who runs away to join his Dad (who's preparing to invade France, a regular obsession of English kings of a certain ilk). Former Royal nanny and fairly incompetent witch Ellen is tasked with finding him, and this turns out to involve a magic guardian chicken (Tallulah) who protects the Prince as he journeys through the land.

It's a pleasant tale but somehow lacking in oomph. It's written in a mildly humorous, slightly mumsy style that to me came across as just slightly patronising - as if the author is writing for ten year olds with the easy credulity of five year olds (or of a past age). My problem with the story is that it has no bite. Henry is a nice little guy, but he doesn't mind roughing it on his travels nearly as much as you would think a royal Plantagenet prince might. When dangerous situations arise, they're not really scary - you know the Prince (with the help of Tallulah's golden feathers) will hop out of the situation easily with no registerable increase in anyone's blood pressure. There is little historical accuracy (acknowledging that this is a kid's story and so you don't expect details of public hangings and such). The writing is slightly over-egged (lots of adjectives and adverbs), and the general vibe is 'cute'.

In short, I quite liked the book (especially the heroic role played by the hens and by Corvus, Ellen's familiar). But that's not enough. I felt that it wasn't well targeted - it's too long and involved for small children, and too twee for older children who might cope with the prose. But I could very likely be wrong about that, and it is, after all, a gentle and kindly read.

Reviewed by

I'm an author but I also read a lot. I do especially like to read books by high quality indie authors, because you often get original and unconventional work which wouldn't have been picked up by the major publishers.

Scandal and scare

About the author

As an only child to lifelong publicans, Lisa enjoyed the ideal childhood for a wild imagination to flourish. Fast forward nearly 5 decades and pub of her own, the time to indulge in flights of fancy was just right. The pub’s 800 year old history sparked the original Ravenwood idea. view profile

Published on November 16, 2019

30000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Children's

Reviewed by