Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: The Princelings of the East by @jemima_pett fantasy #MG #giveaway


TITLE – The Princelings of the East
SERIES – The Princelings of the East  
AUTHOR – Jemima Pett  
GENRE – MG/Fantasy/Scifi  
PUBLICATION DATE – November 2011 (paperback June 2015)  
LENGTH – 158 Pages/ 37,300 Words  
PUBLISHER – Princelings Publications  
COVER ARTIST – Danielle English


The Princelings of the East
is an adventure set in a world of labyrinthine castles, bustling inns, and the curious Isle of Hattan.

Princelings George and Fred leave the security of their isolated castle to solve the problem of the Great Energy Drain, meeting the dubious businessman Hugo, the young barkeeper Victor, the impressive Prince of Buckmore, and other movers and shakers. Who should these two innocents trust? Their wits and teach other, for sure, but when something comes between them, each is left to his own devices, and some of those devices are very strange indeed – and time is of the essence.

The Princelings of the East is the start of a saga where friendship and intelligence are rewarded, even in the face of treachery and deceit.


Fred sat staring at the tunnel, lost in thought. George waited. This might take a while. He could hear soft sounds of crackling flames in the fire on the other side of the wall, and in the distance the occasional pitter-patter of footsteps echoing down the corridors. He wondered what would happen if they ventured out of this castle into the tunnels. When he had been out in the marshes, he’d never gone a long way from home; the castle was always visible in the distance, light glinting on its spires. He’d never been out overnight, either. He identified a strange feeling inside him. They might be on the edge of a Great Adventure, but he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t rather be safely tucked up in bed.

Fred stirred. “We need to go and investigate this Great Energy Drain,” he said. “We must find out whether it is a widespread phenomenon, and whether the causes are known.”

George nodded; this was elementary procedure for an investigation. “And then?” he asked.

“And then,” answered Fred, “we shall come up with some ideas for how to solve it.”

“Good idea!” said George, knowing that you can never know exactly how you are going to do something until you have made the preliminary investigation and tested out a few theories. But the aim was set, and all they had to do now was decide... to go or not to go?

My Review ~ 5*

The Princelings of the East is the first installment of a fun fantasy trilogy chronicling the adventures of twin time-traveling young royals Fred and George.

The year is 2009. Or is it 2021? Hm... whatever the year, no one can argue there are Strange Doings afoot. The King's birthday celebration has been ruined by a mysterious Energy Drain. Princelings Fred and George, two bright kids with too much time on their hands to just sit and Think (in Fred's case) or build ingenious machines (that would be George), decide their august adult counterparts have leapt to all the wrong conclusions, and they want to take matters into their own hands.

The question is... how? They are just two mere (if industrious in their own ways) lads; what can they possibly do to solve this Vexing Problem for everyone's benefit? Especially when they have trouble convincing anyone to listen to them, let alone to believe what they say. To say nothing of the possible consequences if they make too much trouble for the King—perhaps even banishment from the only home they have ever known!

In the midst of their ruminations, they find a mysterious tunnel, which in due course leads them to all manner of amazing wheres and whens and whats and whos, many of whom are not who they seem. Most amazing of all, they meet adults who not only listen but even value what they have to say.

Fred and George, in essence, get to live every ingenious, thoughtful kid's dream.

In the book's synopsis on Amazon, it's likened to The Wind in the Willows, and I can most assuredly see that in the characters' interactions and relationships to one another. However, the literary similarity that struck me most, from the very first page, was A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. Everything from Fred's propensity to sit and Think (Pooh), to various characters' fussing (Rabbit) and pontification (Owl) about the cause of the Energy Drain and how to solve it made me smile all throughout my reading of the book.

The main—and laugh-out-loud zany—scientific issues presented in The Princelings of the East, especially regarding how the world's diet cola becomes "diet" and the process's effect upon the environment, pleasantly brought to mind The Starlight Barking by Dodie Smith, sequel to her much more famous work, The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

The synopsis also describes The Princelings of the East as being "suitable for good readers aged 10 and over," emphasis mine. Girls as well as boys will enjoy following Fred and George's adventures to other castles and eras, but it does require some mental calisthenics to keep everything sorted.

And I view that as a Very Good Thing. In today's culture where the propensity is to dumb down children's programming and literature, the world could do with more Princelings to help our kids hone their mental faculties while presenting fun puzzles and fascinating scenarios. The good news is that there are several more Princelings novels in this series!

Brava, Jemima Pett, and do please keep up the great work.



I’ve been writing since I was 8 years old. I still have a small booklet I found in my mother’s box of treasures, written in a very childish hand, entitled The Little Stream. It reads very much like the story of Smetana’s Vltava, or The Moldau as it was called when I was young, so I must have been into classical music at an early age (I blame my brothers’ influence). My early fiction attempts failed for want of suitable inspiration: I couldn’t get characters or plot that seemed interesting, and my first attempts were derided by a ‘friend’. I had the bug for writing, though, and wrote articles and event reports for newsletters and magazines whenever I got the opportunity. My career in business and in environmental research kept me chained to a desk for many years, but also gave me the opportunity to write manuals, reports, science papers, blogs, journals, anything and everything that kept the words flowing. Finally the characters jumped into my head with stories that needed to be told…

I now live in a village in Norfolk, UK, with my guinea pigs, the first of whom, Fred, George, Victor and Hugo, provided the inspiration for the Princelings stories.



1 x $25 gift card/PayPal cash (paypal cash is much easier for me to deliver) 1 x set of the six Princelings of the East paperbacks 5 x 1 signed print of a chapter illustration of the winner's choice (approx. half letter-sized/A5, unmounted)


TITLE – The Princelings and the Pirates
SERIES – The Princelings of the East
AUTHOR – Jemima Pett
GENRE – MG/Fantasy/Scifi
PUBLICATION DATE – January 2012 (paperback June 2015)
LENGTH – Pages 181 / Words 39,000
PUBLISHER – Princelings Publications
COVER ARTIST – Danielle English


The second book of the Princelings of the East series shows our heroes, Princelings Fred and George, enjoying life with their inventions at Castle Buckmore. Oblivious to the kidnap of a princess from Chateau Dimerie, they are despatched there by Prince Lupin to discover why the wine hasn't been delivered and solve the case of the missing messengers.

What follows is the stuff of nightmares. Captured by pirates, sent off on different ships, Fred endures hardship and shipwreck while George has a dangerous night escape. They discover treachery at their home castle, and lead the people they have rescued to safety, only to end up fighting for their lives in the Battle of Dimerie.


“Right, you lubbers!” said the black guy. “My name’s Frankie and if you know what’s good for you you’ll listen hard, work hard and keep your mouths shut.”

He passed round eight bits of stale biscuit and a bucket of fairly clean water and a scoop. They each took a drink, and some of them nibbled the biscuit. George found his stomach settled down a bit, and tried to see whether Fred and Victor were among the party in the darkness. He rather thought they weren’t, and frowned. The haughty guy refused the biscuit, saying it was disgusting, and one of the other guys took it off him, and wolfed it down.

Frankie waited for them to recover their senses a bit more, then started talking again.

“You are now aboard the Golden Guinea, the prettiest barque that ever sailed the seven seas. You will do as you are told, you will work hard, and if you don’t, you will walk the plank. That means you will find yourself swimming, possibly in shark infested waters, a thousand miles from the nearest land. You won’t last long.” And he laughed again. It was not a pleasant laugh.


TITLE – The Princelings and the Lost City
SERIES – The Princelings of the East
AUTHOR – Jemima Pett
GENRE – MG/Fantasy/scifi
PUBLICATION DATE – May 2012 (paperback June 2015)
LENGTH – Pages 270 / Words 58,600
PUBLISHER – Princelings Publications
COVER ARTIST – Danielle English


Book 3 in the Princelings of the East series is the completion of the trilogy. A mystery is uncovered in the Prologue (which is unravelled in Book 5), then the story moves to more familiar territory as our heroes, Princelings Fred and George, wait at Castle Buckmore for the arrival of Princess Kira from Dimerie in a flying machine. George's power plant invention is overtaken by his enthusiasm for flying, but Fred is upset by Kira's strange behavious after the visit a legendary 'lost' castle in the middle of a forest.

What is the secret of the Lost City? Are the old wives' tales, of a civilisation ruled by females where no male dare set foot, true after all? Will Fred and his friend escape with their lives? How many times can Princess Kira be kidnapped in one story? The path of true love runs anything but smoothly in this tale of love, bravery, cruelty and loss.


A strange noise crept into their consciousness, a sort of buzzing. It changed tone, skipped a beat and sometimes stopped altogether. The princelings looked out, straining to see what was making the noise. Fred stared down the road as far as the bridge; George gazed up into the sky as if he was dreaming.

“There… there… they… ther…” he stuttered and pointed for Fred to locate.

“What?” said Fred, following the direction and wondering why he was pointing into the sky. There was some sort of bird flying towards them.

“I w-wond-ered … a ffly-ing ma-ma-sheen.” In his excitement, George was having trouble getting any words out at all. He slipped off the window seat and went over to a pile of papers beside his bed. He selected one near the top of the pile and brought it back to Fred.

“M. Bleriot demonstrates flying machine at Fortune,” read the headline. Underneath was a picture of a very dashing French person with a helmet and goggles standing next to a funny tube with two boards sticking out of it on either side.

Fred glanced at it, held it close to look at the machine in more detail and dropped the paper to look at the sky. A very similar machine was now approaching the last stretch of road before it turned to come into the castle itself.

“Oh my goodness,” said Fred, his eyes wide in panic. “She’ll be killed!”


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  1. Thank you so much for this great review, Kim! Yes, I was partly aiming at the readers whose Mums I saw complaining that there's nothing suitable for their ten year old advanced readers. Although it does seem to get darker as the series goes on.

    I hope your readers enjoy the excerpts and check out the first book which is often free on well-known ebook sites!

    1. You are most welcome!

      Once upon a time, I was one of those "advanced" readers... who at age 9 read cover-to-cover a modern-English translation of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. I won't claim to have =understood= it all back in those days, but it certainly kick-started my creative juices. :)

  2. Thank you for the wonderful review and for participating in the Tour. Victoria at My Family's Heart


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