Recently crowned queen of her desert-dwelling people, seventeen-year-old Kartek possesses healing powers and a magical jewel. An evil enchantress with her pack of monsters is attacking the neighboring tribes, and Kartek needs her gift more than ever. When the healing jewel disappears, Kartek must make a desperate bargain with a strange green-eyed man to get it back.
This novella is a unique retelling of The Frog Prince fairy tale. The main characters were well-portrayed, and the setting transported the reader to a vibrant fantastical world that felt rooted in Bedouin Africa or the Middle East. One quibble that I had with the structure of the novella is that since it was all told from Kartek’s point of view, there was no understanding of who the hero was–or the villain–until the very end when the whole story had to be explained in a lengthy flashback. Still, a short, fun, and clean read with an interesting take on this fairy tale world.