cover image The Princess and the God

The Princess and the God

Doris Orgel. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-531-09516-4

Revisiting the legend of Cupid and Psyche, Orgel (Ariadne, Awake!) weaves a dramatic novel, a work sure to ensnare girls who have outgrown picture books but still prize the sort of love stories told in fairy tales. Psyche, so effortlessly and extravagantly beautiful that she incurs Venus's near-fatal jealousy, narrates the tale of her adventures and her romantic marriage to Venus's son, Cupid. Her fast-paced account is interpolated with cinematic chapters that either ground the reader in mythic history or cross-cut to the doings of gods and goddesses. While adhering to the classical story, Orgel embroiders patterns from other beloved tales, particularly Beauty and the Beast and Snow White, and she connects Psyche's wanderings to other myths that will likely be familiar to readers, such as the legend of Persephone and Demeter. At the same time she maintains Psyche as a fully and thrillingly human figure among the mighty Olympians, giving readers a character to identify with completely. The target audience will like the love scenes especially-they're passionate and innocent at the same time. Ages 11-up. (Apr.)