Jim C. Hines
DAW (339 pp, $7.99, 2009)
Reviewed by Andrew Zimmerman Jones
Jim Hines has developed a name for himself by taking traditional fantasy and warping it into a twisted, entertaining, and amusing adult fantasy storyline. His first series, the Jig the Goblin Trilogy (Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, and Goblin War), took traditional roleplaying game fantasy clichés – complete with a dwarf who is obsessed with mapping out the dungeon the protagonists are crawling – and turns it on its ear by making a goblin the hero of the series.
In his Princess Novels, he has taken the three classic princesses of fairy tales – Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty – and turned them into a trio of bad-ass fantasy heroines. (You may insert your own Charlie’s Angels comparison here.)
Snow and Talia (i.e. Sleeping Beauty) are living in exile, serving Queen Beatrice – the mother of Cinderella’s prince charming, Armand – as a sort of secret agent squad. Snow is a sorceress, with an emphasis on mirror-based magic. Talia is basically a weapon expert and all-around combat machine.