Book Review: Sophia &Emily at Silver Towers by Vivian French

Note to Reader: This is actually two children’s stories compiled into one, and there are a couple other similar books in the Silver Towers mini-series, which is part of the larger series called The Tiara Club.

Synopsis: When the students at Silver Towers are invited to The Prince’s Party, the girls begin to take dancing lessons. The problem is Sophia is having so much trouble learning the steps that she doesn’t think she’ll even be allowed to go.

It is the end of the term and the princesses are trying to figure out if they have enough tiara points to graduate. Princess Emily doesn’t think she will have earned her silver sash, let alone get to see The Wishing Star!

Cover: While the cover would not pique the interest of someone older or less inclined to the world of royals, it is quite appealing for a young girl who adores princesses. The cover is rather shiny in a blue metallic dotted with silvery stars, and depicts two girls in pretty dresses and tiaras.

Format: At the beginning of each book is what seems to be a letter from the Royal Palace Academy stating the school’s motto, what each princess needs to pack, who the teachers are, and what field trips will be taken. This allows the reader to understand the world they are about to enter without it being part of the actual prose of the story.

Each story begins with an introductory page by the main character. This note tells who the character is, her friends and dorm-mates names, as well as what the princesses need to receive in order to move on to the next step of being a perfect princess.

Writing Style: The word choice of this novel consists of rather simple words and would be perfect for children in grades one through three. It also makes a decent bedtime story as it takes an adult approximately fifteen minutes to read each book.

Illustrations: There are black and white drawings that appear throughout the story by Sarah Gibb. A small picture will open the chapter, and other larger ones will appear as the tale unfolds. They are fairly simple in that they focus on the people, with very little to fill in the background.

Location: Both stories take place at Silver Towers, which is the second level of princess school in the Tiara Club books. Not much is mentioned other than there are classrooms, a dining hall, a ballroom, and that the main character resides in the Silver Rose room of the dorms with five other girls (all of which are featured in other Silver Towers books).

Plot/Subplot: These books each had two running storylines, one is the main character trying to achieve enough tiara points to take part in an activity, and the other is the character’s ongoing troubles with the school bullies.

Point of View: The stories are told in the first person, narrated by whichever princess wrote a note to the reader. Also, as the story progresses, the main character will sometimes address the reader as though she too is one of the princesses at the school.

Character Development: The main character, whether it be Sophia or Emily, always learned something by the end of the book. For example, Sophie was self-conscious about her dancing abilities, but found a way to make that work to her benefit.

Character: Queen Samantha Joy is the headmistress of Silver towers and acts as the parent-figure. She makes the rules for the princesses to abide by, but is not unfairly strict either. The queen attempts to mold the girls into considerate people, by allowing them to learn from their mistakes and encourages them when needed.

Theme: Each of the Tiara Club books has a moral to their story, as they are attempting to teach princesses –and little girls- how to behave in a “perfect” manner.  Some of the themes are the importance of being punctual and trying to be nice to everyone even when they aren’t nice to you.

Quote: “It’s easy to be friends with those we love, but to make friends with an enemy is truly admirable.”

The Verdict: This is a good series for the princess-minded girls as it not only allows them to dream of gorgeous gowns and tantalizing tiaras and breathtaking balls, but also shows them that being a princess is more than that. It teaches the reader how important it is to be a good person.

 Previous Reviews: The Ship of Lost SoulsThe Emerald AtlasThe Royal Treatment

Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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