Review: Twice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Twice Upon a MarigoldTwice Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published May 1, 2008

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Months after the evil Queen Olympia disappeared downriver in the kingdom of Beaurivage, a bad energy seems to be stirring up trouble. King Christian and Queen Marigold, still newlyweds, suddenly have their first quarrel. Their five family dogs constantly squabble over one blue squeaky toy.

And far away in a tiny town, a woman who spent her last several months as the helpful and compassionate Angie, suddenly remembers her true identity. No longer the peaceful friendly lady the town has fallen in love with, Queen Olympia demands to be taken home to Beaurivage castle. Once there, her demands only escalate.

As Christian, Marigold, Ed and King Swithbert frantically search for a plan to (nonviolently) remove Olympia from power, Olympia strikes with a plan of her own. She has Swithbert and his friends arrested for treason. Knowing her mother’s ruthless ways, Marigold can’t afford to wait for the trial, which will surely be a farce. Together with Christian and some of the palace workers, she formulates a plan to remove Olympia from power for good.

The same fun spirit, advanced vocabulary and loveable characters fills the pages of the sequel to Once Upon a Marigold. While a lot of attention is given to the theory about Olympia creating “bad energy” which permeates everyone and everything around her, characters do emphasize that one’s attitude remains one’s own responsibility. Readers who enjoyed the playfulness of the first book about Christian and Marigold will surely enjoy this lively addition to the series. A third volume, Thrice Upon a Marigold completes the series.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
No profanity.

Sexual Content
Brief kissing.

Spiritual Content
Marigold and Christian call upon the help of a wizard who is experimenting with necromancy. Characters briefly discuss what this practice entails and the wizard hasn’t had any great success at it as yet. Characters frequently discuss Queen Olympia’s “bad energy” and believe that her negative energy affects everyone around her. This inspires arguments and general uneasiness and unhappiness even when she is not personally involved in the conflict. Ultimately, the wizard and another character perform a magic spell to exile the bad personality within Queen Olympia. He hopes to leave behind the kind and placid personality.

The servants and guards stage a rebellion when Olympia plans to execute the king and his friends. She plots the execution and builds a gallows, but no hangings occur. Christian and Marigold carefully plan the rebellion for as little violence as possible, even including cookies as a distraction to bystanders.

Drug Content



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