In a faraway country, a dying king reluctantly makes the vain Prince Raphael his heir--on one condition. In order to be crowned, Raphael must first marry a woman who is his equal in beauty, intelligence, and wealth. Once he is in charge, Raphael closes the schools and puts everyone to work so he can collect more taxes. Meanwhile, his wise men tremble from their wigs to their boot tips as they fail in one search after another for a woman who will be the new King's equal in every way. And in a far corner of the kingdom, Rosamund--a kind, cheerful farmer's daughter--tends her goats on a mountain. When she visits the palace, even Raphael concedes she is his equal. But what does Rosamund think of Raphael? Newbery Medal-winner Katherine Paterson has crafted a delightfully original fairy tale about true beauty, wisdom, and wealth. Davina Porter's magical narration will enchant listeners of all ages.
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by Katherine Paterson
"Prince Raphael has a problem--he became king when his father died, in keeping with the ancient laws, but to wear the crown and truly call the kingdom his own, he must find and marry a woman who is his equal in beauty, wealth, and wisdom, a virtually impossible task as far as he's concerned. As Prince Raphael, narrator Davina Porter oozes arrogance and contempt for others. Her Rosamund is gentle, compassionate, cheerful, and wise, providing the perfect counterbalance to Raphael's self-centeredness. Her accent and precise, clear diction add a touch of royalty to this original fairy tale, as well as clearly differentiated voices for the magical wolf and the wise councilor. We hear Raphael changing as he spends his year on the mountain and learns about true beauty, wisdom, and wealth. And, as in most fairy tales, they live happily ever after. W.L.S. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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