Book Review: Frogkisser! by Garth Nix

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Title: Frogkisser!
Author: Garth Nix
Publication Date: March 2017

Synopsis: "Talking Dogs
Mischievous Wizards
An Evil Stepstepfather
An abundance of amphibians
Such is the life of a Frogkisser!

Princess Anya needs to see a wizard about a frog. It's not her frog, it's her sister's. And it's not a frog, it's actually a prince. A prince who was once in love with Anya's sister, but has now been turned into a frog by their evil stepstepfather. And Anya has made a 'sister promise' that she will find a way to return Prince Denholm to human form...
So begins an exciting, hilarious, irreverent quest through the Kingdom of Trallonia and out the other side, in a fantastical tale for all ages, full of laughs and danger, surprises and delights, and an immense population of frogs."

My thoughts: What a wonderful cover and story idea! I jumped into this book very quickly. I am a fan of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom books (though I haven't read a couple of the more recent ones) and I was eager to see what he would do with a fairytale-style novel.

Nix did not disappoint. This book is filled with wondrous creatures, interesting ideas, and tale of good and evil that people can sink into. Anya, our heroine, is thrown into a Quest and is as confused as anyone, despite studying sorcery for some time. Along with a Royal Dog (who is still kind-of in training) and Prince-Denholm-the-frog in a little cage, she sets off, soon to be joined by a motley crew of supporting characters.

There is so much magic and whimsy in this tale that I am surprised at the extent of Nix's imagination. He has linked in some fairytales people may recognise (not going to list them, that would be telling!) and introduced characters that reminded me a lot of some of the books I used to read, and also kind of like Brian Jacques' novels...

I enjoyed my romp with this one, but I did find I didn't have the time to really get to know the characters and understand their motivations, which sometimes left them feeling a little flat to me. While I enjoyed the book, and the ending was great, I wanted more, and ended up feeling just a touch dissatisfied. I still recommend this book, though, as I feel that other people could definitely get a lot more out of it than I did.

[I received a review copy of this book from Allen & Unwin in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!]

A favourite line from the book: "It was the middle of an ice storm, the wind howling across the frozen moat to hurl hailstones against the walls of the castle and its tightly shuttered windows. But despite wind and hail and the full chill panoply of winter, it was deliciously warm in the Great Hall."

You would like this book if: You enjoy sweet fairytales; you want some Garth Nix writing!

Tea to drink while reading this book: I would suggest a nice green tea, to match your book. My current favourite is salted caramel green tea from Twinings!

Rating:  7/10

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