The Return of King Lillian Review


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GoodReads:
The Return of King Lillian is a mythic journey tale – a metaphysical fantasy for dreamers and nonconformists of all ages.
So, why the manly moniker in tandem with the womanly name?
“The Firstborn Child of The Emperor-King Inherits the Ruling Crown, the Title of Emperor-King and All Powers Thereof.” (Item 37, The Royal Manual)
Enter Lillian, the firstborn child of said Emperor-King. Cast out of her Kingdom by malevolent forces, mysteriously waylaid by Destiny, the spirited, self-reliant Lillian sets off on an exuberant journey to find her way home and claim her birthright. As she travels through marvelous and mystical lands in search of her origins, Lillian encounters and befriends a kaleidoscopic cast of characters. Most of the tale is told by Lillian herself, as she chronicles her extraordinary adventures.
The audiobook of The Return of King Lillian is performed by the author, Suzie Plakson.
This is probably one of my favorite retellings ever now. I do have a soft spot for retellings in general but Plakson just knocks it out of the park for creativity. Lillian is such a bright, enigmatic, and innocent character with a heart so full and pure that I cheered her on from page one. This has a bit of a ‘Princess Bride’ meets ‘Wizard of Oz’/’Alice in Wonderland’ feel. It’s whimsical in all the best ways and though beautiful and lush with some darker moments it can fit a wide range of ages as far as reader audience goes.

Honestly, this was an incredible read.

Lillian writes in her book, and to her book, so as you read it’s as if she’s writing to you. She writes as she speaks so that makes from some creative spelling and word choice and it’s a lot of fun in that way. Also, this has a feel of the old fantasies and tales, there’s a character going on a long quest with a bunch of adventures along the way and a great slew of companions and character interactions.I’ll expand on this more when I write up a review on my blog but needless to say I completely love this book.

^ This was my GoodReads review, and to expand on it, this book really stuck with me. I mean I think about it randomly when someone asks about retellings. Obviously, there are some great ones out there but I just felt this was one of the more creative ones and it left me yearning in a pretty nostalgic manner. This harkened me back to again The Princess Bride [in terms of style, not content] where I chuckled, but more than that fleeting style comparison, it reminded me of the older books such as The Wizard of Oz, or Alice in Wonderland as I stated in the GoodReads review. There’s this sense of exploration of new lands and adventures, and a hero travelling through a world but instead of focusing on the world, we see bits of it as we go, piecing it together and focus on the adventures.

Lillian is a great protagonist and I loved her, and it’s not completely without heartache but it was little enough to be almost refreshing in that sense. She overcame quite a few things, and there was sadness, but that wasn’t the main focus of Lillian’s thoughts, she was carrying forward most of the time, toward a goal.

Not to mention, how many times can we recount a retelling or adaptation of The Emperor’s New Clothes and Plakson just completely blows me away. [I’m a HUGE Andersen fan so I can be picky]

I was also lucky enough to be gifted an audiobook copy from the Maestro herself, and I’ve delighted in listening to it with my daughter. In fact, this was an audiobook first and the fact that she has turned it into an equally beautiful novel on paper, that there’s no difference and they both flow flawlessly says a lot about her talent with words.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for a chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Book Vs. Book. Vs. Book

Title catch your eye?

If you follow me on twitter you may have seen me having a small rant about people being elitists about their mediums of reading.

Let’s take a look at this conundrum:


I just chose this book at random and it’s on my tbr so you know, there’s that. But that’s not the point.

One of these is the Kindle edition cover, one is the paperback edition cover, and one is obviously the audible’s audio version’s cover. I say obviously because it says performed by the author on the last one and it’s literally the only picture with any sort of difference. But do you know what?

All 3 have the same damn content.

Let’s let that sink in.

All 3 have the same content. They’re all the same BOOK.

Okay, most of you didn’t need this repeated a second time because I know a lot book people aren’t elitists (or rather I hope so, please don’t shred my hope guys lol).

As someone who loves sniffing pages like some weird teen trying to get a high from spray paint, I know where people are coming from when they say they prefer real books.

As someone who travels frequently and has a lot of times to just whip out her phone or eReader to read, I understand where people are coming from who prefer their electronic readers. [When I’m talking about books that aren’t eARCs I read mostly physical but I utilize my Kindle(s) A LOT.]

As someone who has had to do a crap ton of driving in her life, I can understand why people would want audiobooks. [They’re the only method of reading I don’t use, but, uh, that’s not because I’m ‘above’ it, that is just my preference]

So, seeing people in Twitter being like:

O,h I could NEVER trade my real books for a KINDLE, why would I ever want to do such a horrible thing?

I’m sorry, but quite frankly, get bent. Your method of reading isn’t any better and people have their reasons, some people don’t have access to physical books so they may not even prefer a Kindle or an audible but it’s the only method of reading, and what, you’re going to make them feel bad?

How about being sincere? ‘I’d like to know your reasons for preferring an audiobook or Kindle, as someone who prefers physical books, I’m curious to know.’

And guess what? No one needs to have a reason to prefer a reading medium. they might just like it more, and that alone is enough.

Some people can’t read on screens and guess what they don’t need to be harassed, and some people can only really get into reading by listening to audiobooks, and guess what, anyone being harassed is just not going to be as eager to share their love of reading and how utterly crappy is that?

And I know it seems like I’m singling out people who prefer physical books, I’m not.  It is just that unfortunately, in MY case, on my twitter these are the only ones that pop up but don’t you get me wrong if I see any other reading medium elitist, I’m going to give them hell too.

Everyone is allowed to have their preferences but no one is allowed to belittle another for their preference. You don’t get to act pretentious, you don’t get to sit there laughing at their ‘poor choice’ because that just makes you look like a big twat-nugget. Oh yeah, I went there. Pardon my language.

I’m just really irritated this week and this just was a bit of exasperation for me.

The world needs more readers, by any means possible, a world filled with book lovers is the kind of place I want to be and that means we just need to stop being picky about what kind of readers they are.

Do they use a nook? Great!

Paperbacks only? Fantastic!

Still rockin’ the audio CDs? Hell yea!

And you know, just so we know that at some point I’ll tackle this too:

Do you love smutty romances? I will hunt down Harlequin-esque novels for you

Comics/Graphic Novels/Manga only? Great, let’s talk shop, give me your recs.

Nonfiction? My god do you even exist lol? Because I could use people to talk nonfiction with

You get the point, if I did this with all the genres we’d be here until we look like this:

I guess at the heart of my little rant, what I really want to make clear is, please, PLEASE don’t put others down for how they choose to enjoy books, and please, please, PLEASE, if you have been put down, know that it’s not right or okay, that you’re still a reader and you are very valid to the book community. [And if you are ever made to feel bad, you send them to me, I shall politely and firmly tell them they’re being an ass]

Go forth and read!!!