Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review: The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette

The Tale of Mally Biddle

4 out of 5 hearts

Originally, I was supposed to read this book as part of a blog tour.  However, due an extremely hectic schedule at work and upcoming vacation, I passed the deadline.  I really liked this book so I am posting this as a regular review.  Although this book is considered YA, my rating is based on a Middle Grade level, because it read that way to me. 

First Queen Amara had a horrible accident and now King Sebastian of Lenzar has been assassinated.  Princess Avona is the only remaining heir to the throne but she is a baby.  Alice Spindle, a servant in the castle, is waiting for her trial because she is the suspect in King Sebastian's assassination   She was the person that gave him the goblet of poisoned wine.  She is tried and executed.  But Cayla Black, Princess Avona's caretaker, was a good friend of Alice's and knows she was not capable of killing the King.  She also has the nagging feeling that the deaths of the royals were premeditated and planned, and Avona is next.  Cayla does the unthinkable and kidnaps the Princess from the castle to keep her out of harms way.  Princess Avona is perceived to be dead after a horrible fever. The kingdom of Lenzar falls into the hands of a vicious flock of knights that go around attacking and robbing the citizens as it is governed by a non-nonchalant yet charming King Salir Romore, the former adviser to King Sebastian.  It has been a rough sixteen years for the people of Lenzar.

Ivan, a noble and rebel against the knights, is traveling one rainy day and suffers a riding accident but is luckily rescued from the rain by Mally Biddle, a simple farmer girl.  She takes him to her home and helps her mother nurse Ivan back to health.  After he has recuperated, Ivan confides in Mally with the rebel cause and recruits her to his team.  Her mission is to work as a servant in the castle and attain the truth behind Princess Avona's disappearance.  Although King Salir told the public she died from a fever, there is a small glimmer of hope that she is still alive and Ivan hopes to find her to restore her power to the throne.  Mally does not want to leave her home or mother behind, but she feels it is time she grasps her courage and becomes independent.  Terrified yet curious, Mally begins her work at the castle and befriends the servant staff, including some of those that were around during King Sebastian's time.  In her journey to find the truth about Princess Avona, she also find out the truth behind King Sebastain's and Queen Amara's deaths, which baffle her beyond her wildest dreams.  She did NOT see this coming.  But she can still save the people of Lenzar.

This book reminded me a lot of Poison by Bridget Zinn.  It was very innocent and Disney-like, on the verge of Middle Grade.  The entire time that I read it, I pictured it like a cartoon like The Secret World Of Arrietty (2010).  Mally was very likable and innocent, so it was easy to keep reading.  The way that the first  couple of chapters are set up, you can figure out the "secrets" quickly.  Initially, I kept reading because I was hoping that I was wrong and it would turn out another way.  But as I mentioned, this story was so cute and I had to finish it regardless.

I would definitely let my little sisters read it.


The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette
A republication of For the Kingdom by M.L. LeGette
eBook, 296 pages
Published November 21st 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published October 20th 2010)

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