Review of “The Princess Beard” (Tales of Pell #3) by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

Dawson, Delilah S., & Kevin Hearne. The Princess Beard. New York: Del Rey, 2019.

Hardcover | $27.00 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1524797805 | 363 pages | Fantasy

3.5 stars

In spite of the Tales of Pell being uneven quality wise, I was excited to read the conclusion (?) to the series, based purely on the title, The Princess Beard, alone. And it’s just as much of a silly romp as the other two, better than the second, which felt all over the place, but not quite as good as the first, where the novelty is the freshest.

The twists on classic fantasy tropes and stories are fun this time around, especially concerning the titular bearded princess-turned-pirate. It was fun to see them working with those archetypes and twisting them into new and fun creations.

While some of the jokes do feel a little on-the-nose and even more off-the-wall than I found funny, there are still some little gems in there that had me in stitches, whether it be from clever uses of wordplay or an easily recognizable real world or fantasy character reference. For example, there’s a fabulous sequence featuring a parody of Harry Potter and another jab at Chosen Ones that I wish had been expanded, even if it did result on them retreading some of the same territory from book one.

Like the others, this is a fun(ny) take on fantasy that may not win over everyone, but it will definitely please the children-at-heart who love a good whimsical story that they can escape to for a good laugh or ten.

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