Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
Christian ran away from home and hid in the woods, that’s where Ed found him. Ed was a troll, who lived in a cave of crystals and wanted to get in on the tooth fairy business, but Mab wasn’t handing any of it over. Christian told Ed he would accuse him of kidnapping him if he ended up back at his parents’ house, so Christian stayed with Ed. Ed decided that Christian had to learn how to be a decent person, so he taught him all the manners he could find in his books.
Christian grew up and often watched the royal family across the river through a telescope. There were four daughters, three of them triplets. Christian watched as the older three got married and the youngest was still there. She liked to read on the terrace.
One day Christian send a message to her with a pigeon he had trained to deliver letters. A correspondence soon started between the two. Her name was Marigold. Christian decided to get a job at the castle. At first, Marigold didn’t know who he was. He learned of a curse upon Marigold, but it didn’t bother him any. As it turns out the queen, Marigold’s mother was up to some nefarious plottings. Christian and his inventions would be central in stopping those plottings, or at least delaying them.
What I liked
This story was definitely fanciful. It has many fairy tale elements we’re all used to, but a few more modern-day things thrown into the mix. Most of the characters were enjoyable. The story between Christian and Marigold is sweet.
What I didn’t like
This book ends exactly as you’d expect. It’s not a bad ending; it’s just predictable.
I find the use of “p-mail” silly. It’s clearly a play on “E-mail” which wouldn’t exist for quite some time after this era. It’s not a real era of history, but it closely parallels real eras of history that don’t have email. I know it’s pigeons, but in reality, they would have just said, “I’m going to send Bob a message by pigeon.” There wouldn’t be all this “p-mail” nonsense, but with this said,”p-mail” was intended to be a bit of a joke to lighten up the story, so pick your battles I suppose.
I also find it highly unrealistic that Christian would be accepted just like that without any verification of his identity, but maybe that’s a result of growing up through a post-9/11 world.
…Fun and cute story.
Would you use messenger pigeons if you had access to them?
Would you run away from home and stay there?