“Eat,” said Merlot.
“I couldn’t possibly,” said Despereaux, backing away from the book.
“Um,” said Despereaux. “It would ruin the story.”
“The story? What story?” Merlot stared at him. A piece of paper trembled at the end of one of her indignant whiskers. “It’s like Pa said when you were born. Something is not right with you.” She turned and scurried from the library to tell her parents about this latest disappointment.
Despereaux waited until she was gone, and then he reached out and, with one paw, touched the lovely words. Once upon a time.
He shivered. He sneezed. He blew his nose into his handkerchief.
“’Once upon a time’” he said aloud, relishing the sound. And then, tracing each word with his paw, he read the story of a beautiful princess and the brave knight who serves and honors her.
Despereaux did not know it, but he would need, very soon, to be brave himself.
Despereaux has never quite fit in with the rest of his mouse family. But when he falls in love with a human princess, it is simply too much for the mouse world. He is thrown out and sent to be eaten by the rats.
What a beautiful story. It felt so magical. The only part that was difficult for me was the constant switching of point-of-view. I just wanted to stay with one story. I guess that's the way it had to be, and I did enjoy it once I got to the end. I loved the characters. All the rat names were a little confusing to me for some reason, but maybe I just need to read slower. This was one of those books where it feels like every word is in place. It's the perfect novel for anyone who loves fairy tales, and maybe even for some that don't.