I think that’s what comes to mind for a lot of people so intentionally or unintentionally they write princess books off because of the women featured. Let’s be honest, a book where a woman has to be rescued by a man is clichéd and boring.
When we paint all Princess books with same brush, we’re really missing out. While brainstorming this post, I’ve come to the realization that Princesses can be pretty awesome. I’m really glad to live in a time where books featuring strong, capable women is becoming more and more common.
Let’s take a minute to talk about some of the awesome fictional Princesses that come to mind for me.
Elisa (Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson): Let’s be honest, Elisa started as the fat, dowdy, ‘throw away’ princess. She was married off secretly to a man who didn’t really love her. Somehow she rose above all that, took charge of a kingdom and people who were not her own, led a rebellion and won.
Raisa ana’Marianna (Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima): Even before getting out of the castle, Raisa used her money to help those less fortunate in her kingdom. Once she got out of the castle and saw how normal people lived, you could tell how much their suffering hurt her and how much she wanted to help. She did the best she could with the abilities she had to ease their suffering. Even when things get messy she was more worried about what was going to happen to the Queendom than what was going to happen her happiness.
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer): This one is weird because Cinder is a princess but hasn’t actually been one in years but bear with me. Once Cinder realizes who she is, she goes off on a suicide mission to regain her title and place. It is literally a suicide mission. Cinder had better succeed or Levana will kill her. There’s no in between. She’s risking everything to save the world from Levana. It’s the right thing to do but there’s so much to lose.
Let’s not forget our younger readers. Even they get some awesome Princesses!
Cimorene (Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede): Cimorene rejects princess-y things and runs away to live with the Dragons. She finally gets to learn the ‘forbidden’ things like magic and fencing. It was fun to see the traditional, princess-y things she knows be what helped her out in some of the messes. I’ve only read Dealing with Dragons but I can’t wait to pick up the next book.
Celie (Castle Glower by Jessica Day George): Celie may be young but she does what she can with what she has. She might not be able to fight off the bad guys in the traditional sense but she uses her brains, her castle, and later her griffin to defend the kingdom.
How can you not love those princesses? They don’t need someone to rescue them but they do accept and appreciate help from those who give it. Those are the kinds of stories I want to read and I want my kids to read.