A Princess of Roumania
By Paul Park
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765310965, 368pp.)
Publication Date: June 23, 2005
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This is a truly magical tale, full of strangeness, terrors and wonders. Many girls daydream that they are really a princess adopted by commoners. In the case of teenager Miranda Popescu, this is literally true. Because she is at the fulcrum of a deadly political battle between conjurers in an alternate world where "Roumania" is a leading European power, Miranda was hidden by her aunt in our world, where she was adopted and raised in a quiet Massachusetts college town.
The narrative is split between our world and the people in Roumania working to protect or to capture Miranda: her Aunt Aegypta Schenck versus the mad Baroness Ceaucescu in Bucharest, and the sinister alchemist, the Elector of Ratisbon, who holds her true mother prisoner in Germany. This is the story of how Miranda -- with her two best friends, Peter and Andromeda -- is brought back to her home reality. Each of them is changed in the process and all will have much to learn about their true identities and the strange world they find themselves in.
This story is a triumph of contemporary fantasy.
PAUL PARK lives in North Adams, MA
Praise for Princess of Roumania:
"No one writes like Paul Park, and when he turns to magic, the results are magical. A Princess of Roumania is weirder and wilder than any fantasy you've read before and even those elements which might have been familiar -- a princess, a werewolf, a jewel, a gypsy, magic and murder -- are transformed into strangeness. Park's characters, incidents, and images will stay with you long after you've finished this book."-Karen Joy Fowler
"A Princess of Roumania is at once a vastly ambitious and passionately realized work of art, and immediately appealing in all the ways that the heart-tugging matter of high fantasy ought to be. Park's Miranda is as brave and questing as a heroine of fantasy should be, and his Baroness Ceaucescu is a fascinating portrait of unstoppable evil that is never more or less than appallingly -- even appealingly -- human. Every page of this book holds something you couldn't have imagined and yet that strikes you as supremely right and satisfying. A huge achievement."-John Crowley
"Complex, elusive, haunting, written in a transparent prose that slips you from one world to another with...ease"-Ursula Le Guin
"I love it! I think it's wonderful."--Elizabeth Hand
"A superb new fantasy, the first in what I hope will be many books in a series."-Ed Greenwood
"No one writes like Paul Park, and when he turns to magic, the results are magical."
-Karen Joy Fowler
"A vastly ambitious and passionately realized work of art...immediately appealing...A huge achievement."
"Complex, elusive, haunting, written in a transparent prose that slips you from one world to another."
-Ursula Le Guin