So I’ve spent the past few weeks rereading one of my all-time favourite series (Princess Diaries), and it got me thinking about all the other books about princesses I love or have loved since I was a kid. So I decided to make a list of it, and share with you some of my favourite books featuring princesses! Let’s get started.
I started reading Meg Cabot’s iconic Princess Diaries series about 10 years ago. They probably weren’t suitable reading for me then, and they sure as heck aren’t now! If you’ve seen the movie and think you know Mia Thermopalis, you might be surprised! The Mia in the books is a lot more snarky, witty, funny, and downright loveable. I grew up reading these books throughout high school and they made me laugh and smile until I was blue in the face. Even now, there’s something nostalgic about reading them as a 20 something. As I spent the past few weeks rereading the series from book 1, I realised I still loved hearing about Mia’s awkward transformation from a geeky freshman to the independent young woman she becomes at the end of the series. They’re a lot of fun!
A Little Princess technically isn’t a princess story, since its leading character, Sara Crewe, isn’t really a princess, but it’s all about maintaining dignity in the face of hardship, like a princess. This is one of my all-time favourite childhood reads, and I used to curl up in bed and read it every winter, since the writing and story lends itself to such an environment. A Little Princess tells the tales of little Sara Crewe, a ten-year old girl, who is left alone at a boarding school by her father who returns to India for business. But soon Sara learns that that her beloved papa has died, leaving her penniless. She arrived at the school in style, but must not suffer at the hands of the wicked headmistress who uses Sara’s situation to turn her into a common maid. But Sara maintains faith that things will get better soon. It’s a beloved classic with a wonderful cast of characters.
Ella Enchanted is another beloved favourite of mine; I still remember discovering it in my grade 7 teacher’s classroom library and devouring it within days. Then, when I saw it in a Scholastic book order a few weeks late, I begged my mom to let me buy my own copy since I loved it so much!
Like many Cinderella retellings, Ella Enchanted tells the tale of young Ella who has been cursed with following everything that people order her to do. This makes for a tricky life, but things get even trickier when her mother dies, and her father remarries to a woman who delights in making Ella do the most horrendous things. When the prince of the kingdom professes love to her, Ella is commanded to turn him away, even though she longs to accept him.
Much newer than all the others, Cinder was sure to become a favourite of mine when I heard that it was a Cinderella/Sailor Moon retelling! Growing up in the 90s, I was a hardcore Sailor Moon fan, and when I first heard of Meyer’s idea to combine the popular fandom with the classic fairytale, I was SO excited.
Cinder tells the tale of cyborg girl who lives in New Beijing, Cinder. She’s looked down upon by her stepsisters and stepmother for being part-cyborg, and is thus excluded from just about everything. But Cinder can’t help but feel drawn to Prince Kai, prince of the New Commonwealth, who equally seems interested in her. It’s a fun story filled with wicked stepmothers, dreamy princes, cyborgs, and lost princesses. A great combination of the two tales! Check out my full review here.
So this is more of a series, rather than one single book; The Royal Diaries was a series of diaries told through the voices of princesses from around the world. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with this series (given my obsession with princesses, can you blame me? lol). I remember begging my mom for all of them, but I think I only ended up buying a few of them. What was great about them was that they were told through the voices of the princesses when they were early teens and so as a kid, I loved having an ‘exclusive’ look into their lives. Plus, given my love of history, these were super fun!
So that’s a short list of some the stories about princesses that I’ve read and loved. Given my love of fairy tales as a kid, I grew up continuing to love modern retellings of princess stories, and searched for them in everything I read, whether it was modern, historical or a classic. This was seen in the first story I ever wrote, Annia, a Cinderella retelling that I wrote when I was 10, filled with a handsome prince, an innocent girl, and a classic rags-to-riches story. If you are so inclined, you can check out the first 2
cheesy wonderful chapters under the Writing>Fiction tab up above.
Thanks for reading,