The Princess and the Pirate – Royce Bond
Morris Publishing Australia
Paperback – 272 p.
RRP – not known
Royce Bond established a solid reputation as a published writer of scientific material prior to his retirement, along with a couple of books for children. He is now venturing into writing for the young adult market.
His new book The Princess and the Pirate is somewhat of a grab-bag of various ideas but mostly falling into the speculative fiction genre. It made this reader think of a cauldron into which had been stirred some elements of Star Wars, as well as some of The Princess Bride along with a bit of Raymond Feist.
Hepzebah, a warrior princess, is by far the dominant character in this oft times confusing story. Her relationship with Sergio, a rogue pirate trader echoes the love/hate positioning of Princess Leia and Hans Solo. They forge a partnership designed to overcome the evil enemies of their planet. This reader found the story difficult to read – and at times, somewhat banal and predictable.
Along with a spelling/typo error on the back cover blurb, it was bemusing to read that Hepzebah wore a tight fitted ΄gherkin΄ – surely not? It would be somewhat unconventional to say the least.
The complete arrogant control demonstrated by Hepzebah throughout would be off putting to male readers, I believe – and I cannot see that there is enough substance in the story to win over the female sector. The frisson of sexual tension may of course appeal to some less discerning teens.
Whilst I confess to skipping some pages that seemed interminably long winded about vicious attacks, the end chapter, beginning with ΄two years later΄ did not even come close to a satisfactory or logical conclusion.
All in all, I am sorry to say it was a disappointment and I can only offer a very mediocre rating for this novel.