Once Upon a Marigold (Marigold #1)
By Jean Ferris
Harcourt, Inc., 2002. 266 pages. Young adult fiction.
Christian has lived in a forest cave with Ed, his guardian troll, since he ran away from home when he was six. Now 18, Christian is eager to explore the world, beginning with the intriguing princess who lives right across the river. Watching through his telescope, he sees her reading books, playing with dogs, and all sorts of other unprincesslike things. After a lengthy correspondence through pigeon mail (p-mail), Christian decides to get a job at the castle to be closer to Princess Marigold - and quickly discovers a plot that could cost her everything.
While not a fairy tale retelling, this book evokes the feel of a fairy tale in its structure. The writing in spectacularly witty and the plot is very original. It had a very similar feel to Patricia Wrede's Dealing with Dragons series. The book itself is on the lower end of YA reading levels, but will be enjoyed by readers of any age.