Goldman intelligently entwines meta fiction into this seemingly traditional adventure story. The narrative hops from romance to danger to camaraderie to sword fights to explorations to palaces with no more difficulty or jarring than a dragonfly flitting in and out of a pond. Whilst juggling with this in one hand, Goldman balances a critique of the genre in the other.
However, I found the constant interruption of the author's voice irritating because of its frequency, and I felt that he was being disparaging to similar tales. Perhaps I was longing for a traditional adventure, but I felt that there was too much jumping up and down of the author so that the characters became just that--characters.
It was all too clear that this what was happening was only a story. Other instances where this is far more successful is the subtlety of Edgeworth's Belinda, and the jumping-in-with-both-feet approach of Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller. I suppose I wanted Goldman to either tone it down or crank it up.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy the story and one cannot deny that it is well written, with originality of expression in a traditional genre that could easily become jaded. I would have been happier if the book had finished off without the additional 'Buttercup's Baby' section, which I felt dampened the rest.