I have to admit that we hadn't read the first two installments of the series. But, THRICE UPON A MARIGOLD didn't require you to have read the first ones. It was cute and rather typical.I read this story to my five year old and she enjoyed it. The baby princess is kidnapped, the villains are dastardly but is properly "taught" bad is not good, throughout the book. The characters are charming, the book is steeped with good moral fibers. It was a fairy tale of Happily Ever After proportions. Perfect for my five year old, rather tame for me reading it to her.I would think that readers at a 3rd grade to 5th grade reading level should really enjoy. I didn't notice to many hard words, or tough reading spots. It is well written and perfect for your young reader.I recommend it, but I also recommend not following my example and starting at ONCE UPON A MARIGOLD.In the Kid's Words: "Princess Poppy was so cute!"