Harold the High Knight and Princess Megan is a fantasy adventure involving leprechauns and gnomes and had the potential to be a really exciting and fascinating book for young readers. But there are so many problems with it that it is far from reaching its potential.
First of all, the title has nothing to do with the story, really. The whole High Knight and Princess thing is entirely unnecessary. Harold is a 13-year-old boy from New Jersey and his sister Megan is 10. A few times in the book she refers to him as her “High Knight” and he refers to her as his “Princess.” That seems almost creepy when you are talking about contemporary American children. It is irrelevant to the plot and introduces an element of doubt into the depiction of what are otherwise very believable present-day children.
Even more serious, though, are the numerous grammatical errors throughout the book. Nowhere on this book does it say that it is an Advanced Reader Copy or uncorrected proof, so this appears to be the way it was published. There are many partial sentences, missing commas, extraneous quotation marks, and other errors that would cause any middle-school teacher to give this book a failing grade.
Dialogue is challenging to read because there are no breaks in it. One person’s quote follows another in the same paragraph, making it, at first glance, very difficult to follow who is talking.
All of this could possibly be less important than the fact that this is quite a gripping story but the book is made nearly unreadable due to the constant shifting from first person to third, at one point three times in one paragraph.
For most of the book, Harold is the narrator and tells the story in first person. But very often and for no reason, suddenly an omniscient narrator is telling the story and referring to “Harold.” The constant switching between “I” and “Harold” is completely disconcerting and ruins the flow of the book entirely.
Another lesser problem is that the book is over 200 pages long, and some judicious editing could easily have made it half that length without harming the plot in any way.
This is not a self-published book, but it appears not to have been edited at all. It was sent to me by the publisher, so perhaps it is an unmarked advanced copy or uncorrected proof. In that case, there is still no excuse for sending any book out to anyone in this condition. Since I can only base my review on the book I was sent, I cannot recommend Harold the High Prince and Princess Megan for children or young adults.Powered by Sidelines