I love a great adventure story told with skill and wit, the kind that you can pick up, sit back, and enjoy. Frogkisser! by Garth Nix is just that. Here's how it goes:
All Princess Anya wants is to sit in the library and work on becoming a sorcerer (of the good variety).
But with an evil sorcerer step-father who wants to be king at any cost and a flighty older sister whose true love has been turned into a frog, something has to be done. It’s time for a Quest!
“A Quest! I haven’t got time to go on a Quest, or even a noncapitalised little quest!’ protested Anya. "I have so much reading to do—I mean when I can actually get back to it, after I sort out this frog… and I supposed I’ll have to hide in the library somehow and get you all to bring me food —ow!’
She stopped talking because Tanitha had leisurely nipped her above the knee.
"You can’t hide away," the elder dog informed Anya. "You can’t even go back to the castle now. It’s time that you sough help against the Duke. He grows in strength and power, and he clearly feels he can move against you and Morven now. This is your Quest: to find those who can help you defeat the Duke."
And so Anya sets off with a dog and a frog to defeat an evil sorcerer and break an enchanted spell.
With the help of a Good Wizard, the Association of Responsible Robbers and some magic lip balm, she comes to realise that her Quest might be about more than saving a prince and defeating a Duke!
Full of mischievousness and whimsy, Frogkisser! is a wonderful romp of an adventure and a classic fractured fairytale.
It's targeted at young adult readers but is suitable for younger readers (around 12 and up) through to adult.