Thursday, January 25, 2007

Princessess-A-Plenty: Recommendations from a Reader

In the Comments to the Princess posts, reader elainet has some suggestions for middle and YA book lovers who want more royal reading:

In the "princess-with-a-twist category," try Robin McKinley's Beauty, a verson of Beauty and the Beast written before her better-known Newbery Award book The Hero and the Crown. (If the YA designation and length are not too off-putting for a younger reader, you might also consider Deerskin, and Spindle's End, also by Robin McKinley.)

If the princess doesn't have to be the protagonist, (and you don't mind dragons underfoot) take a look at Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

Elainet also reports that her "medieval fantasy" readers liked Artemis Fowl and Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series beginning with Mister Monday and Grim Tuesday.

These suggestions are great. If any readers have more suggestions of the princess persuasion, please comment!



  • This is great - keep 'em coming! Some titles are familiar, but others I have never heard about.

    I wouldn't take anyting away from our local library's children's librarian. She is great; however, the reality is that in a small town, she doesn't have the budget or time to explore what an "Army of David" readers know about!

    I, and my avid reader DD, thank you for the suggestions.

    By Blogger Devereaux, at 10:50 PM  

  • Umm.... I wouldn't recommend Deerskin to a ten year old. I know of adults who've found it disturbing, as it deals with incest and paternal rape of the princess, and then dealing with the dreadful aftermath - including pregnancy - and memories. It was published as an adult book, and in this case they were probably right. Check it out before blithely giving to a child. McKinley's writing is gorgeous, the story can be difficult to take. I read it shortly after _Flying in Place_ by Susan Palwick; the juxtaposition may have helped me spot the darkness in McKinley's first chapters more easily, so I was less surprised and shocked by subsequent events. But, as I said, I know several adults who've found this book harrowing.

    Everyone talks about McKinley's Hero & the Crown and Blue Sword, but I've never liked them as much as some of her other work.

    My ten year old fantasy reader reminds me of Baker's _Frog Princess_ and sequels and the Tail of Emily Windsnap by Kessler (modern mermaid, she finds out her heritage when she develops a tail in her seventh grade swim class).

    By Blogger Elaine T, at 11:03 PM  

  • We loved Emily Windsnap!

    Thanks for the heads up on Deerskin. I do preview what she reads, except fot the inevitable series stuff.

    Depending on the pervasive local mood, Deerskin might be OK. Right now I am up to my hips in King Lear related stuff (anybody really understand whether loyal servant can credibly be tied to the Hugenots??? LOL), but I like to gauge the content aainst the "near teen" emotional climate.

    By Blogger Devereaux, at 11:17 PM  

  • Thanks, elainet, for the warning on Deerskin. I wondered also about Rose Cottage by McKinley, not because of "questionable" content, but because it may be a book better read after you have a few years under your belt to appreciate it more fully. The years between 10+ and 13 or 14 are hard to recommend books for because of the layers of maturity that develop then. It's good that parents take the time to look at what their kids want to read!


    By Blogger GTC, at 9:48 AM  

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