Rich, full-page illustrations and an unusual story characterize this adventurous tale. Although plot holes dot the story and the conclusion feels too easy, the overall narrative is interesting and sophisticated enough to engage readers of many ages.
In a distant land, a king thrusts his realm into poverty when his only child wanders into the forest and never returns. The king, once generous and just, quickly comes to despise anything green. Using a magic wand, he turns the world black and grey, killing the trees and fields his subjects require to survive.
Unbeknownst to anyone, a wizard actually took the young boy into his care and taught him to love all things that grow and breathe. Fulfilling an old prophecy, the prince eventually emerges from the woods and challenges his father, who rejoices and becomes a fitting ruler once again.
Some key plot points are left unexplained in this narrative: Why does the prince go with the wizard rather than returning home in the first place? Why does he only reemerge after so much destruction has been wrought, and why does he seemingly not remember his father? Why does everyone forgive the king for his wrongs so easily?
All of that said, however, the core concept of this fairytale feels fresh, and the truly beautiful illustrations elevate the narrative and make readers more willing to go along for the ride.
This is a flawed but compelling new fairytale. Readers who enjoy adventures and folklore—and who don’t mind a sometimes-puzzling plot—will find a lot to love about The King Who Hates the Color Green.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.