One of my Beta readers said to me that she wished Penelope had more happy moments in the first book. I explained that it isn’t really a ‘happy’ book, per se, it’s more about the trials and tribulations of growing up, and having to take on more responsibility than a child should. Rather than shown in a mundane world, it takes place in a magical setting, one that is new to Penelope, who hadn’t seen much of her father so far in her life, although he most certainly was there.
As parents, we want to protect our children from dangers, but as Penelope’s mother learned, that is not always possible. Because of Penelope’s abilities, she is in much danger from the sorcerer who hates her father, and by extension, Penelope. She learns that not all adults can be trusted, and some are downright dangerous. However, she is a survivor, and has a pretty good stubborn streak, which carries her through the perils put in her way.