The King's Decree by Torina Kingsley

 The King's Decree is a retelling of The Princess Who Never Laughs.

In a kingdom, there is a princess who used to be happy and joyful, but after her 15th birthday, she started to feel... nothing. No joy, no happiness, no sadness. Nothing. she spend last year mostly in bed, numb to the world. Her 16t birthday is approaching and her parents have come up with a plan. They issue a decree, whoever makes her laugh, will be her husband and new ruler of the land. While it's obvious they mean well, instead of helping her, the situation just makes her feel worse. 

In the village lives girl Yasmine, with her elderly father. He is getting too old and too tired to work in the fields, so finds her a job at the castle's kitchens. She is not thrilled at first, it will take up most of her time, and she loves running around the village, telling stories to the kids, and meeting friends, but she knows it's the right thing to do. On the first night of her job, she meets a princess. Slowly, but surely, they become friends.

No prince is ever able to make her laugh, but Yasmine. Just as the life seems to return to Princess, tragedy struck. and the princess runs to the one person who never judges her. 

The story is light, but the theme is much deeper. The depression and many faces of it. How difficult is it to name something you never had before. Nowadays names and labels are very important, but knowing the word for it and knowing how it feels, how it affects your life are two very different things. The way depression feels, how it affects her life is revealed organically. 

The pacing of the story is a bit up. The build-up is slow and steady, the middle moves a lot faster, especially when she just starts to get to know Yasmine and the end fills rushed. 

But the message is clear. Even though it's not perfect, there is something magical in the story, that made me turn (swipe)pages, it's very easy to read, stuck your heart too. 


received from author
March 8th, 2021 by Trunk Up Books
short story, fairytale retelling, ya
number of pages

happy reading,


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