A Fairy Tale for the Modern Princess
Benevolence is not your typical princess, and Princess
Ben (Houghton Mifflin, $16.00, May 2008) is certainly
not your typical fairy tale. But who would expect typical
from the award-winning and best-selling author Catherine
Gilbert Murdock, creator of the sensational young adult
novels Dairy Queen (2006) and The Off Season (2007)?
After all, this is the author who gave us D.J. Schwenk, the
fifteen-year-old girl from Wisconsin who defied all
expectations and made it on to her all-male high school
Catherine Gilbert Murdock has “always loved fairy tales,
and writers’ endless reworking of fairy tales” and finds
that the “tweaking reveals what really matters in the
story.” It was this fascination that led to the creation of
Princess Ben, which tells the story of Benevolence, sole
heir to the kingdom of Montagne. When her parents are
lost to unknown assassins, she finds herself under the
thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia, who is intent on
marrying her off as soon as possible. While locked high
in a tower, Ben stumbles onto an enchanted room, where she begins her secret education in the
magical arts. Her endeavors are soon cut short by a very real and mortal threat that faces the
castle and the entire kingdom.
In the spirit of Gail Carson Levine’s Fairest and William
Goldman’s The Princess Bride, Princess Ben is refreshing new fractured fairy tale that will be
welcomed by fantasy lovers everywhere.
Catherine Gilbert Murdock burst on to the scene of young adult
literature with her debut novel, Dairy Queen, winner of the Borders
Original Voices Award, the 2007 Midwest Booksellers Choice
Award, and the 2007 Great Lakes Booksellers Children’s Literature
Award. Reviewers, booksellers, and readers from across the country
embraced Murdock’s main character, D.J. Schwenk, rejoicing in her
refreshing honesty, wit, and, most of all, determination to do
Dairy Queen’s sequel, The Off Season, soon
followed and met with the same success, prompting e-mails from
teens celebrating the return of D.J. and thanking Murdock for creating
someone to whom they could relate.
Catherine Gilbert Murdock and her sister, the best-selling novelist Elizabeth Gilbert, grew up on
a tiny farm in Connecticut. Murdock now lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two
children, where she is hard at work on a third book starring D.J. Schwenk.
Please visit Ms.
Murdock’s website, www.catherinemurdock.com, for more information about the author,
including glimpses of her work in progress, discussion questions for readers, an up-to-date
appearance schedule, and playlists of songs that kept her going while writing.
Advance Praise for Princess Ben
"A fairy-tale princess for the modern girl. An amusing, heartwarming adventure put forth in richly flavored prose."—Kirkus Reviews
“Princess Ben is a REAL princess for REAL girls. Hurrah!”—Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, Wis.
“A story about a girl growing up and coming into her own in a strange and difficult world, and it will touch readers of all ages and situations.” —Teenreadstoo.com
“Catherine Gilbert Murdock manages to take all the familiar fairy tale elements and turn them on their head. . . . Ben has sardonically appealing wit, done in a style that sounds like it was written with a quill pen on parchment.” —Sarah Miller, “Sarah Miller: Reading, Writing, Musing . . .” blogger