A Voice for Princess is the first volume of John Morressy’s Kedrigern Chronicles, a series of novels and short stories about the reclusive wizard Kedrigern. In this first novel, Kedrigern retires from the wizard guild because he’s mad at his colleagues for schmoozing with alchemists (whom Kedrigern considers beneath barbarians on the human worth scale). Accompanied by his ugly but loyal house troll, Spot (whose vocabulary consists entirely of the word “Yah!”), off Kedrigern goes to build himself a solitary home on Silent Thunder Mountain.
Eventually Kedrigern becomes lonely and decides he’d like a wife. After a couple of unsuccessful courting efforts, he stumbles upon a beautiful and intelligent princess who has been turned into a frog. What luck! Kedrigern’s area of expertise is counterspells, but this particular spell has been applied to Princess by a notoriously clever bog-witch. Kedrigen’s counterspell manages to return Princess to her proper form, but she still croaks like a frog. Kedrigern vows to find the spell that will return Princess’s voice.
In the introduction to the Kedrigern Chronicles, John Morressy says “The Kedrigern novels and stories are not written to shock, horrify, awaken, arouse, educate, stir to action, or otherwise cause people to lose sleep or their dinner, or to run about shouting slogans, smashing windows, and waving banners. They are definitely not meant to be taken seriously… They were written to be enjoyed.”
Indeed, while reading A Voice for Princess I never felt the urge to do any of the aforementioned activities… which is probably why I didn’t feel the urge to pick up the second novel in the series. The story is light, occasionally funny (though this type of situational humor isn’t my preference), and there are some enjoyable moments when Morressy plays with language. But, the characterization is generally shallow, the writing style is not noteworthy, and the plot is diverting but not exciting.
As Morressy seems to have intended, A Voice for Princess is entertaining and agreeable, and would be a fine choice for a teenage or adult reader looking for a light read. But it’s also rather uninspiring and, therefore, mostly forgettable.
The Kedrigern Chronicles — (1986-1990) Publisher: A wizard’s life is not an easy life. One never knows who, or what, one’s next client will be, or what kind of unpleasantness he, or she, or it, is bringing. And there’s always the certainty of travel to far places over bad roads in nasty weather. It’s no wonder wizards prefer to live solitary lives in isolated towers or ruins or caves. They’re looking for some peace and quiet. But it makes for a lonely life. So when a young man of 160 or so-no age at all for a wizard-meets a beautiful enchanted princess and releases her from a cruel spell, it seems the perfect chance to settle down to a life of cozy domesticity. With a bit of magic here and there to take care of the housework and a loyal house-troll to do the heavy lifting, things ought to be idyllic. And they would be, if it weren’t for the unreasonable clients, the barbarian swordsmen, the home furnishings with minds of their own, the otherworldly intruders, and the rest of those annoying day-to-day problems of the profession.
Two omnibus editons have been released. Each has two Kedrigern novels and several Kedrigern short stories: Omnibus #1 (The Domesticated Wizard): A Voice for Princess, The Questing of Kedrigern, several short stories Omnibus #2 (Dudgeon and Dragons): Kedrigern in Wanderland, Kedrigern and the Dragon Comme Il Faut, several short stories