Cabot’s upcoming novel a must for romance fans


Since the Disney adaptation of “The Princess Diaries,” Meg Cabot’s books have grown fast in popularity. But with the series quickly coming to a close, Cabot will soon delight her fans with the new novel, “Ransom My Heart,” in which Cabot writes as the star character of The Princess Diaries: Mia Thermopolis.

Finnula Crais, the youngest of six sisters, spends her free time secretly poaching game from her Lord’s estate to help feed the poor. But when one of her sisters is in need of some quick cash, Crais suddenly finds herself scouring the county in search of a wealthy man to ransom. As fate would have it, she stumbles upon one of the richest men around, Hugo Fitzstephen, who just returned home from the Crusades, and is in possession of a saddlebag full of jewels. Trapping the man proves to be no trouble, but when Finnula makes the mistake of falling in love with her hostage, things get interesting.

Unlike most medieval romances, “Ransom” has no trouble standing out from the crowd. Although the book does focus on the eventual love between Crais and Fitzstephen, Cabot surprises her audience by developing a solid plot. It turns out that not everyone is glad to see Fitzstephen returned home – in fact, there are some who would sooner see him dead. As a result, a conspiracy is formed, rich with both a chilling suspense and a mind-boggling mystery.

Another flattering trait of the novel is seen within the characters. There are scarcely any stereotypical nuances. Crais in particular could never be compared to the common, blushing maidens that plague most romances. She is strong-willed and independent, and would rather spend her time hunting than filling the role of housewife.

Then there is the humorous dialogue scattered throughout the novel, often consisting of Fitzstephen and Crais shouting over some minor disagreement. What’s interesting is that, even though the two are in love, their bickering gives the relationship a more realistic appeal to readers. What sane couple doesn’t argue at least once in a while in order to maintain a healthy relationship?

In the end, one of the most interesting aspects of this book deals with the knowledge that it was “penned” by a fictional character. It does take some time to get used to, but once realized, this unique take on presenting a novel makes reading it all the more enjoyable. Despite being a fictional character, Thermopolis is the current princess of Genovia. What woman doesn’t want to read a book written by the hand of a princess?

Scheduled for release in January of 2009, “Ransom My Heart” is a must read. It will find a permanent residence in any bookshelf. Read just one page, and there can be no hope of ever putting it down until it’s finished.