There are only a few illustrations; the cover has a kind of watercolor effect and there are small black and white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.
The story is written in a high fantasy style, which means that some of the vocabulary is going to be too difficult for beginning readers. The descriptions are a bit long-winded and elaborate and many feel cliched. The sections about the sorcerer don't quite fit in with the rest of the plot and there are several loose ends; why is the sorcerer sad? How does the kingdom run if everyone sits around putting together puzzles all day?
But, as I said, there are possibilities in this story! The basic plot of a king finding his princess by putting a puzzle together is intriguing and the side plots of the sorcerer's books are fun and light-hearted. Although the language is a bit convoluted and lengthy, the author has some good turns of description and and plenty of imaginative sparks. I can see the puzzle king plot making an excellent picture book, once the story has been pared down and with a good illustrator. The sorcerer and his books might be a fun middle grade fantasy with some additions to the plot and more character development.
Verdict: I wouldn't recommend this book as is, but I suggest keeping an eye on the author; she has possibilities!
ISBN: 978-1608601493; Published June 2009 by Eloquent Books; Review copy provided by author for Cybils