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Literature / Once Upon a Marigold

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Once Upon a Marigold is a Young Adult novel by Jean Ferris.

Edric the troll lives a quiet, comfy life in the woods with little more than his two dogs and his campaign to get the Tooth Fairy fired on his mind. Of course, that all changes abruptly when he finds a little boy hiding in the bushes, who follows him home and refuses to leave. Edric ends up raising the boy, named Christian, but he quickly grows up and begins nursing a crush on the local princess. When Christian leaves the cave to find his place in the world, it isn't long before he gets wrapped up in something much, much bigger than he could anticipate.

There is a sequel, Twice Upon a Marigold. The author is currently working on Thrice Upon a Marigold.



  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Olypmia in the second book.
  • Arranged Marriage: All over the place.
  • Bad Boss: Rollo, captain of the palace guards, does everything in his power to have Christian killed just because his girlfriend found him cute. And of course, there's Olympia, who would have anyone who even looked at her wrong beheaded if she had her way.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Edric's dog, Beelzebub, is a wuss who hides behind his size.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Subverted in that Christian ran away from his royal heritage to live in the woods with a troll.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The phoenix charm, the blacksmith's flying machine scraps, and the loose stone on the castle terrace are all integral to the climax.
  • Dumb Blonde: Subverted by Marigold's triplet sisters, who were cowed into acting dumb and submissive by Olympia.
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  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Olympia, who, aside from being a Rich Bitch, casually drugs her husband and plots the death of their youngest child to have the throne for herself.
  • Henpecked Husband: King Swithbert. He deeply, deeply regrets always letting her wife Olympia have her way with everything. When they were first married, he admired her passion, her determination, her headstrong-ness. Unfortunately, this got way out of hand, leading to the shrew that Olympia now is.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Olympia forces Marigold into these often, since she believes Marigold too plain for a regular Pimped-Out Dress to work.
  • It's All About Me: Olympia, in spades. In the second book, upon returning to the kingdom of Beaurivage after a year of amnesia, she interprets the Oh, Crap! reaction of the peasants as speechless delight at the return of their queen. The book points out that she literally tries to find fault with everything her daughters and servants do.
  • Mister Muffykins: Edric's second dog, Hecate, looks like one, but is really just desperate for attention. Olympia's vicious ferret, Fenleigh, plays this completely straight.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: King Swithbert might act like a senile old man, but that's only because Queen Olympia frequently slips drugs into his drinks. Once he decides to pour said drinks into a nearby potted plant, he almost immediately feels better. He still acts like a senile old man to prevent Olympia from finding out that she's been discovered.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The gold phoenix charm in Christian's suit, which marks him as the heir to Beaufort's kingdom. Played with in that Christian never looks at or touches it after going to live with Ed.
  • Rebellious Princess: Marigold, through and through. By the end, her sisters have joined her as well.
  • Suddenly Suitable Suitor: Christian.


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