King's Equal

King's Equal

by Katherine Paterson, Vladimir Vagin (Illustrator)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Trade Paperback, 64 pages
Price: $6.99

A young shepherdess named Rosamund lives with her three goats up in the mountains. Her wise friend, the magical Wolf, provides for them so that they always have just enough, and they live in comfort and contentment. But Rosamund knows that her country is suffering; the current ruler is the arrogant and greedy Prince Raphael, and he is cruelly taxing the land. Yet he cannot ascend to the throne until he finds a wife that is his equal in wealth, looks, and intelligence.

Rosamund soon stands before Raphael himself and declares herself the king's equal. In wealth, because she wants for nothing; in intelligence, for she knows a secret that no one else does; and in beauty, because on her head she wears a magical circlet of gold given to her by the Wolf.But this makes her more than the king's equal, and now the smitten Raphael must provehimself worthy of her.

This beautiful fairy tale tells the story of a woman who is wise enough to be content with having very little, brave enough to stand before the arrogant prince in order to save her country, and compassionate enough to take pity on him. But such a woman can only be equalled by the prince when he is humbled, not as he is when he is rich and powerful. If each is to be the other's equal, there is no place for greed and pride.

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