Summary: Emma is a young princess who is starting to learn how to use magic. However, before she even starts to get a grasp of what she can do, a neighboring kingdom decides it's a good time to invade. The situation is made even worse because that's the exact time Emma's grandmother decides to distract the Green Witch (the protector of the kingdom and Emma's Aunt Grassina) by turning her true love Hayward into an otter. Emma and Prince Eadric must help Aunt Grassina by gathering three magical ingredients in order to restore Hayward before time runs out - otherwise Hayward will remain an otter permanently and the kingdom will be lost!
Assessment: This is a charming and magical book for girls who might like Harry Potter, but perhaps find them a little too scary. Although Emma faces some difficult and perilous tasks, such as getting a pearl from a sea witch or the breath of a green dragon, she accomplishes these things by seeking out friends, making friends, or using her own cunning and budding magical skills. No one, not even a vicious manticore, is killed. Readers will also enjoy some of Emma's humorous mistakes in learning to gain control of her magic, including the fact that whenever she sneezes, she and Eadric suddenly become frogs. This book is the second in a series. Although I have not read the first one yet (though I hope to soon), I found that despite the fact I hadn't read it, I still understood quite well what was happening, so don't worry if you come late into the series as well.