Title: The Lizard Prince Vol 1
Author: Asuka Izumi
May Contain Spoilers
When Canary, the princess of Linaria, is betrothed to Prince Heath of Gazania, she is none too pleased with her father’s choice of a husband. Rumors of the prince’s ill-manners and womanizing ways have travelled as far as her kingdom, and she doesn’t want to wed a man with such a bad reputation. Agreeing to meet him and give him a chance, Canary is pleasantly surprised to find that the prince is nothing like rumors suggest. Instead, he is polite and kind, and Canary falls for him instantly. What she doesn’t know is that Heath has pulled a fast one, forcing a lizard magically transformed into a man to switch places with him. Can love between a human and a lizard survive the test of time?
This comedy romance did not tickle my funny bone. I found it tedious and had a hard time working my way through the book. Setting it down and reading something else between chapters helped somewhat, breaking up the saccharine events into more manageable chunks. The book wasn’t a complete waste of time, but it is definitely skewed to younger readers. The conflicts and plot resolutions presented in each chapter were more sappy than compelling, even though the characters are likeable. It’s the situations that they are find themselves in that left me detached and disconnected from the story.
Canary is a feisty tomboy, and she’s not going to spend the rest of her life shackled to a loser like Heath. When she meets him, she is delighted to discover, not the rude cad she expected, but a charming, handsome young man, and she is smitten. It’s during the subsequent meeting that she learns the truth; the boorish Heath is indeed as awful as suspected, and the sweet and gentle guy she met wasn’t Heath, but his pet lizard. Without a second thought, she confesses to the lizard, breaking a curse that trapped Heath’s older brother, Sienna, in the body of a lizard.
Sienna is a nice match for the bold Canary; where she is fierce and independent, he is more reserved and even a little clingy. He wears his love unabashedly on his sleeve, and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He doesn’t even hold a grudge against Heath, when it was his younger brother’s fault that he was cursed in the first place. After tormenting a lizard, it was Heath who was supposed to be transformed into a reptile, but Sienna valiantly stepped up and took his place. Then everyone forgot about the curse and wondered where the older prince had disappeared to. Even Sienna lost his memories of being human, and was stuck being a lizard for years. Poor guy!
While I love the premise of The Lizard Prince, I didn’t care for the execution. The episodic chapters were too bland and sugary to provide much enjoyment, and the pacing was haphazard at best. Most of the focus is centered on Sienna and his ability to turn into a lizard at will, but then only time will change him back. While he is waiting to transform back into a human, he is helpless and spends most of the time running from one threat after another. The formula gets old quickly and there isn’t enough variety between chapters to provide a satisfying read. Despite some very, very charming illustrations, this book left me disappointed.
The Lizard Prince gives new meaning to fairy tale romance when a princess falls for a lizard. The story will appeal more to the younger crowd, but its uneven pacing and bland chapters probably won’t appeal to older readers.
Review copy provided by CMX