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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Princess Melina is a beautiful princess, with a beauty that reaches the very depths of her soul. Her parents believe it’s time for her to marry, but all the possible suitors, noble princes from far and wide, are vain and greedy. When an ugly monster kidnaps the princess and demands that she marries him, the king sends out his valiant knights and soldiers to rescue her, but they all turn back in fear. All except one: James, son of a once valiant knight, Sir Valour. Brought up as a farmer, James learned the importance and true meaning of valor from his father. Aspiring to be as good as his father was before he became a farmer, James answers the call to rescue the princess: not for the substantial monetary reward and not for the chance to win her hand in marriage, but rather because he strongly believes it is the right thing to do. Wearing his father’s tarnished, worn-looking armor, James is confident in his quest, knowing he is following in his father’s footsteps and doing something that would make his father very proud of him.
Brianna Tibbetts’s early chapter book, The Knight in Battered Armor, is a fairy tale like no other. Like all fairy tales, the story, the plot, and the characters all have a message to share, a message that challenges the conflict between the powers of good and evil. The princess may be like any other princess in a classic fairy tale, Rapunzel, Snow White, and others, only this princess has gumption and she’s not taking her fate lying down. James is definitely the ‘knight in shining armor’, only this time without the shining armor. Both characters are strong and honorable and cast a stunning plot of suspense as the two fight for what they believe in most and what they care for. Told in the classic narrative form of any good storyteller, this treasure is accompanied by stunning illustrations that set the mood of the entire story. The message is clear: honor is more important than wealth and power. I love a good fairy tale, like many others, but this one shines as strong and deep in meaning as do many of the Grimm fairy tales.