Cover Image: Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower

Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower

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Member Reviews

I really liked Floralinda's personality. Often when trying to create a strong princess authors give them very stereotypically masculine traits like strong fighting skills. Floralinda is very traditionally feminine. She cries, she freaks out at scary situations. And she fails frequently. But she is also clever and resourceful. Such a a strong well written character!
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I adored this dark fairy tale from Tamsyn Muir -- who knew she could branch out so easily? The grit of the story feels much more akin to old original fairy tales, and Floralinda is a such a great heroine, the kind who IS afraid to fight for her survival, but damned if she won't do it anyway.
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3.5 stars

A cute, funny, subversive take on the classic fairytale trope of a princess locked away in a tower. I enjoyed Tamsyn Muir's wit and cleverly written prose. Parts of the book were a little bit repetitive, but overall, I still enjoyed myself. Would recommend for anyone in the mood for a light-hearted, quick read.
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Wonderful tale with a terrific twist at the end. Muir continues their witty writing style and keeps a fast pace through this tale of survival!
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This book was such a great twist on the classic Princess in a Tower trope. I adored the fact that we went along with Florinda learning that she should just save herself, because no prince was able to. We went along with her as she went through each monster that was in the tower, taking it day by day.  

I have read many times before that Tamsyn Muir's writing is hit or miss for them, which I feel the same. I could not get into Gideon the Ninth, but thoroughly enjoyed this one. I will definitely check out any other books they write in the future, especially if they are fresh takes on more classic stories.
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Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower is the kind of princess book that I would want my daughters to read. Tamsyn Muir turns the traditional Rapunzel story where the princess passively waits for rescue into an adventure where Floralinda discovers who she can become and fights her way to her own freedom.
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I feel like Tamsyn Muir's books are either hit or miss for me. While I loved Gideon, this strange little novella left me wondering what in hell I read. I think that there just wasn't enough time to really develop the cast and flush out the plot at the same time.
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Stars: 3.5 out of 5

The princess in a tower guarded by a dragon and the prince who has to battle the monster in order to rescue her is a classical fairy tale trope.

But what happens if the dragon crunched up all the princes and no more are coming to your rescue? What if instead winter is coming and the tower is decidedly NOT equipped with hot water, heat, or insulation? What if a diet of milk, bread, and oranges is fine for a couple weeks, but decidedly NOT good after a few months? There comes a time when even the meekest princess will have to make a choice: either try to confront the monsters in the tower and make it to the bottom, or choose the fast and fatal drop out of her window. So Floralinda opens the door to her room and changes her destiny forever.

It was interesting to see Floralinda slowly transforming from a princess to someone in charge of her own destiny. It was certainly subverting a trope. It was also interesting to see the different monsters populating the levels of the tower, even if thinking that an untrained girl could succeed where numerous princes failed was rather unrealistic. But hey, it's still a fairy tale after all.

Speaking of fairy tales, I wouldn't recommend reading it to younger children. Some descriptions are rather... graphic, and Floralinda is forced to do some things that might shock younger minds. She has to go down a tower full of monsters, after all.

I am not satisfied with the ending though. (view spoiler)

But all in all it was a short and sweet read that helped me pass a rainy afternoon, but Floralinda deserved better than the ending she got.

PS. I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC. This was a really fun read. I expected a more traditional retelling of Rapunzel, but was met instead with a snarky, fresh and 21st century fairy tale.
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A delightful take on classic fairytale tropes, merging old-fashioned style with a modern sensibility. Muir's writing is witty and always engages, although on the whole, I felt the premise wore out a while before the story actually ended. I didn't see the ending coming, but upon reflection, it was the perfect capstone for Floralinda's character, given how she was initially defined by her weaknesses. Fantasy readers will be amused by this clever iteration of the princess trapped in a tower tale.
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Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower is a very interesting take on the traditional fairytale-knight-rescues-princess-from-tower concept. 

The book isn't as dark as expected, and considering that cover, I don't know why I thought it would be dark in the first place, but I guess that's because it's written by Tamsyn Muir. But even so, some of the scenes in the novel -- including the ending -- were haunting and disturbing. Speaking of the ending, I'm not sure that I even enjoyed it -- I genuinely don't know what to think about it. 

The plot felt a bit repetitive at times, which is why I'm giving the novella 3 stars. It's very straightforward: princess Floralinda trying to escape from the tower and having to defeat each of the 40 monsters blocking her way, along with a mysterious friend she makes. So it makes sense the plot doesn't feel like much happens. But even so, Floralinda was an interesting character and brought a lot of life to the novella.
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Tamsyn Muir is one of my auto-buy authors, so when I saw she was releasing a new novella, I knew I had to check it out. I did enjoy Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower, but I expected to love it as much as I do the Locked Tomb trilogy and I just.. didn’t? This book was a good reminder of why I try to avoid having any expectations for books.⠀
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Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower is a dark, twisted, satirical tale that reads like the book version of a dungeon crawler game. The plot is largely what you’d expect based on the title - Princess Floralinda (a caricature of the stereotypical fairytale princess) is trapped by a witch at the top of a tower, with forty flights of monsters standing in the way of her escape. Floralinda watches as princes arrive in droves to rescue her, but none succeed. Eventually, there are no princes left, and Floralinda realizes it’s up to her to save herself.⠀
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From that brief description, you might imagine this is a story about female empowerment. It’s not. The princess does save herself in this one, but Floralinda is not a likable character for you to live vicariously through. I can’t say more without risking spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that. ⠀
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Final verdict: 3.5 stars, rounded up. While it didn’t meet my high expectations, but Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower was a fairly quick, enjoyable read. If you like dark fantasy, satirical takes on common tropes, or are a Muir fan, I definitely think it’s worth checking out as an ebook, which is much more affordable ($7-ish USD) than the limited run hardbacks.
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A witch locks a princess in a tower. The princess waits for a prince to come to her rescue. You think you know where this story is going, but you're wrong.

A princess grows tired of waiting to be rescued. She sets out to rescue herself. You think you know where this story is going, but you're wrong.

To say more about the story would give away too much, but I can say I've rarely been so pleased to have my expectations of a story proven so wrong.

Received via NetGalley.
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I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir is a quick read that subverts the fairytale trope. I’ve always loved fairytales and I love to read all the retellings I can get my hands on. In the beginning, it felt very much like a traditional fairytale, but that quickly changed. 

The story starts with Floralinda imprisoned in a tower, with 40 flights – and a monster on each one – between her and freedom. Of course, for Floralinda, this is basically what she expected. Because that’s what happens to princesses, and she knows her role. All she has to do is sit and wait for her prince to come save her. But no prince comes, so eventually she is forced to take matters into her own hands. And that’s when things begin to change. Or rather, Floralinda begins to change. Because if she’s going to escape this tower, she can’t do so as the perfect princess she’s always been. 

This book was interesting and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. It was enjoyable, but I had a hard time getting invested in it. On a positive note, this book had a very unique way of developing the plot and characters. It started out very one-dimensional and Floralinda lacked any real depth, but as the story progressed and Floralinda broke free of the script she’s been following since birth, it really started to become alive. Another thing I really enjoyed is that there wasn’t any romance. I do enjoy romance, but it’s refreshing sometimes to read a story that doesn’t have any. 

Now for  the negatives. First, it was a little gory at times. Not too bad, but if you’re sensitive to gore, you may want to take that into consideration. The thing that really bothered me about this book, though, was the ending. Up until then, I was really enjoying this book. Without any spoilers, it was a very morally gray ending. I know some people are really into morally gray characters, but I’m not a big fan. While I can acknowledge that it does make for a compelling story, it’s not what I usually prefer to read. While I did not expect or wish for this book to end like a traditional fairy tale, this is not the ending I would have chosen for it. 

I was really excited to read this book, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite what  I expected or hoped for. Although I was only able to give it 3 stars based off my personal preferences, it was well written and I can see how others might really enjoy it. While I would probably not reread it, I would recommend it to others.
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This was a lot of fun! It didn't go quite in any of the directions I'd expect an alternative princess tale to go. Instead it went a bit darker.
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Once upon a time, there was a witch who wanted to imprison a princess in a tower. But she wanted to do it properly, so she made it forty stories tall and filled with varying monsters at every level. Yet the princes never made it passed the first floor, and the princess languished away, as princesses do. Until one day something changed, and the princess decided the only way out was down.

I did not expect to love this Rapunzel retelling as much as I did, but that rather unexpected ending took this from 4.5 stars to a solid 5!

"I wish I might be rescued," wished Floralinda.
"Too large a wish; make it smaller," said Cobweb, after a moment.
"I wish that I didn't have to die," wished Floralinda.
"You are misunderstanding 'smaller,'" said Cobweb.

It is so deliciously amoral.

I loved the variety of monsters, the way the chapters are numbered, the love-hate-relationship between Floralinda and Cobweb. While I was annoyed by Floralinda's dunderheaded dullness, I did like her character growth and how she stumbled into killing things by accident (often nearly dying herself), and how she was aided in her unlikely survival by an angry, aspiring chemist fairy.

I also enjoyed how much attention to detail Muir placed on logistics, something often neglected in fantasy, particularly fantasy where the princess is locked in an unclimbable tower.

And did I mention the monsters?? There are so many that are nearly impossible to kill, and it's kinda like watching a video game, where the main character 'levels up' with each conquest...or levels down in some cases.

Definitely one to read if you're looking for a quick fairy tale parody with real bite.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
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What a great fun and irreverent twist on the classic fairytale/“princess in the tower” trope. Not what you would immediately associate with the author of the Locked Tomb books, but once you read you’ll see its filled with Muir’s resident wit and snark - and of course all sorts of twists of the status quo. 

𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑛 𝑝𝑢𝑡𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝐷𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡 𝑓𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑟: “𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑠𝑎𝑦 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑎 𝑏𝑎𝑑 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑎 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑜𝑡𝑡𝑜𝑚, 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝐼 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝐼 𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠.“

Other than Dragon fodder there’s not a prince in sight, but theres plenty of beasties, an enterprising witch, and a very snarky Fairy who likes to sideline in chemical warfare and make things burn. I LOVE the ending, those last few lines!!!

Highly recommended, especially if you like the irreverence of stories like The Princess Bride. 

“For if one prince being crunched up by a Dragon is inspirational, twenty-four princes being crunched up by a dragon is cautionary.” 

🌟🌟🌟🌟💫 Thank you to Netgalley for my eARC!!
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I got an ARC of this book.

I kept putting off reading this book, because Muir is pretty well known for lesbian necromancers in space. Those books are intense and they take a long, long time to get through. They are complex and they are wild. I was afraid that I would get sucked into this and not be able to read anything else for a week or more. But, when I started reading I finished. It was a really quick read.

The book is deceptively simple. The book is one of those twisted stories I love. You read what seems like a gentle fairy tale, but the more you think about it the more horrific it gets. This is the sort of thing that I am super into. Give me something that seems nice and gentle, then destroy me. Thank you.

The plot is pretty interesting at first, but after the first few floors things get a bit bogged down. It didn’t really slow down, but it felt more repetitive so I found my interest waning. A lot of the plot after the first two floors was survival, instead of moving forward. It had its place, but it still felt like it was dragging a bit. I didn’t really want to read a description of skinning a rat for example. The skinning of the rat made sense within the story, but it just didn’t hold my attention.

The cover is also a bit misleading. There is a dragon on the cover, but the dragon is not really seen on page. The dragon is mentioned as yelling in the night, but the dragon doesn’t really do much in the book outside of eat a few princes in the first few pages. I felt let down by not being able to really see the dragon. The name of the book is a huge yes, but the cover would not have brought me in.

Overall, the book was a fun read that I only really trusted based on the author. I am glad I gave it a shot instead of judging it as another fantasy novel I didn’t need in my life. That ending was pure perfection. Muir may rule lesbian space necromancers, but she is starting to take over my heart too.
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The premise of Princess Floralinda is simple: take the traditional Rapunzel myth, add monsters to each floor, then find out if anyone survives. Speckled with clever moments, the novella nonetheless feels lifeless and cliched. Floralinda's personality is highly inconsistent and the dangers to her never feel real. Those looking for a gruesome fairytale with no one to root for might find something to love in it - I did not.
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I read the description a few times but I was still surprised by this book. I was not expecting the turn it took.

Tamsyn Muir's writing is hard to get into and I had to reread a few passages, but the story made up for that. I did like many of the descriptions the author used, as it made the story more atmospheric. The author was very sarcastic at times and made fun of classic fairy tale tropes.

Even though the story was contained in one small room, with some adventures to the lower flights, it was action-packed and there was always something interesting that made me keep reading. I wish some of the flights were delved more into since the author focused a lot on some but rushed through others. I liked seeing how the two characters survived the tower, from day to day activities to fighting the monsters.

The characters were unique and fun. Princess Floralinda had fascinating character development for such a short book. She went from naive and sometimes had really funny and dumb thoughts, to a strong character. Cobweb was funny and had some of the best quotes. 

The ending completely took me by surprise, Princess Floralinda got a different ending than I'd have thought, but it was a fun twist.
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