4 out of 4 stars
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Nadira by Alexandra Lane is a modern version fairy tale. Nadira is not your typical girl. She loves to compete with the boys, dislikes dressing up and always feels a bit different than other girls. Her dad encourages her interests, while her mother worries about her future prospects.
Jai is the Prince of Kingdom Nebula and is destined to marry the girl who has a purple heart-shaped birthmark. The girl turns out to be Princess Theodora of the Kingdom of Oros. However, Nadira and Prince Jai meet and feel an unexplainable pull towards each other. The story revolves around the question of whether the protagonists choose their true love or fulfill their duties towards their kingdom.
The story has all elements of a typical fairy tale. There is a charming prince, an evil witch, a wicked queen and so on and so forth. However, what sets this story apart is the damsel who is never in distress. She is independent, has very strong opinions about many things and never has to be rescued by her knight in shining armor. In fact, the Prince himself encourages Nadira to take part in a competition that is traditionally meant for boys.
What's more, the princess has a friend who has her own unique sense of style and couldn't care less about what people thought about her appearance. I would call this the most likable part of this book. I absolutely love strong female protagonists in any book, fairy tale or otherwise. Nadira does not wait for the Prince to help her out when her mother is bed-ridden. She sets out in the dark and scary forest, all by herself and tackles the roaring beast without any fear. She gets lost in the forest and yet manages to find her true self in the process. That was another aspect of the book that I loved. It clearly sends a positive message that facing challenges head-on helps us discover our true power.
I couldn't really find anything wrong with how the story has been told. However, I did find some spelling as well as grammatical errors throughout the book. I also felt that the formatting was not good enough in certain areas. The book would definitely benefit from another thorough round of editing. However, as the errors did not exceed ten, I would still love to give this book a four out of four stars. This is a wonderful children's book with a powerful message, especially for the female population. I recommend this book for all children as well as adults who love fairy tales.
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