Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Children's Book Review: 'Thrice Upon a Marigold' by Jean Ferris

Thrice Upon a Marigold: A Royal Kidnapping Caper

by Jean Ferris

Harcourt Children's Books, 2013

The third in this series about King Christian and Queen Marigold centers on the kidnapping of the newborn Princess Poppy. Boris, the exiled torturer-in-chief, and Vlad, the exiled poisoner-in-chief (both of whom served under the reign of the former evil Queen Olympia) soon become the primary suspects. 

Phoebe, the royal librarian, is the daughter of Boris, and Sebastian, who works in the blacksmith shop, is the son of Vlad. The two meet, when Sebastian comes into the library to check out a book on King Arthur, and Phoebe is impressed by his vocabulary. Soon Phoebe and Sebastian, who were both abandoned by their fathers as children, and whose mothers had both disappeared, are soon recruited to assist in the search for the missing baby.

Sebastian's mechanical mind, and Phoebe's love of random facts help them piece together the mystery of the missing princess (and also endear them to each other in the process). They bravely face danger and a fire-breathing dragon, in their attempt to capture their evil fathers and bring them to justice. And they inadvertently solve an additional important mystery along the way. 

The ending is satisfying and happy, but doesn't preclude the possibility of a Fourth Upon a Marigold, much to the delight of the many fans of this modern fairy-tale series. 


Jean Ferris has written more than a dozen well-received novels for young people, including the popular Marigold trilogy. She lives in San Diego, California.


Renée McGrath

Renée Vaillancourt McGrath has worked at Montana Public Radio as a program host since 2002. Her background is in librarianship and she currently works as a freelance editor, blogger, and website developer. Check out more of her book reviews at

Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content