The Balderdash Saga

The Underground Princess, Book 1 of Lower Grade Adventure

Children - Fable
114 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2015
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Author Biography

J.W. Zulauf wears many hats while walking the streets of the writing world. He started with a focus on the short story, first winning the Marjorie Flack Award for Fiction. Then he became one of the editors for Daylight Dims, which has grown into an ADULT annual anthology. He now works as an author at Evolved Publishing, creating the children’s series, The Balderdash Saga, beginning with The Underground Princess.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

The Underground Princess (The Balderdash Saga, Book 1 of Lower Grade Adventure) by J.W. Zulauf is a story about Princess Scarlet who lives in the underground kingdom, Balderdash, under Ashcroft village’s graveyard. Scarlet dreams of falling in love and living happily ever after, but her father, King Hurlock, find her wish nonsensical as they are not humans anymore but resurrected corpses. He worries about her safety a lot, especially when his enemy Maleer constantly tries to dethrone him. However, it seems that Scarlet might get her wish. A prince has died in a hunting accident and will be buried in the Ashcroft graveyard. King Hurlock sees this as an answer to Scarlet’s yearning, where the prince can possibly be her one true love. Unfortunately, Maleer initiates his evil plan and Scarlet has to act quickly to save the kingdom.

The ensemble cast is quirky and compelling, a fantastical depiction of what the existence between life and death would likely be. With a touch of the macabre, The Underground Princess is entertaining and fast-paced; it’s perfect for bedtime reading. It’s also a great book and series to entice reluctant young readers. The cover art and illustrations by Luke Spooner are simply grand. They really complement the story well. While this series may be aimed at 6 to 12-year-olds, it’s no stretch to imagine older readers getting a kick out of the story as well. The Balderdash Saga is unique and stands out from the rest. Simply put, this is an excellent work from Zulauf.