It was a lucky day for the drummer lad when he did a favor for the king of the storks because, frankly, he didn't have much to recommend him otherwise. "It is a poor fellow who cannot manage a wife when he has her" -- and he knew as much about that business as a goose about churning butter.
This is an odd story but Pyle's prose and Hyman's art make it work.
I do wonder about the backstory, though. How did the young princess become a wicked enchantress and meet a crone with an awesome scary castle?