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Emily Recommends. . . Princess Books

Everyone knows Disney is famous for their princess stories, but maybe that’s not how you like your princess.  These ladies are awesome, tough as nails, and not afraid to do what needs to be done (and sometimes that is cleaning up after dragons).  These are not damsels in distress and while sometimes they have a little help, they’re the ones saving the day!

All of these books reminded me of the others.  Not just because they are different than other princess stories, but the writing and the worlds felt similar. These are all good books for younger readers, but older readers will love them too.

Dragon Book – Not your typical princess!

Dealing with Dragons – by Patricia C. Wrede

Cimorene hates doing the things a normal princess does.  She hates embroidery, dancing, and the prince she should like.  Instead she likes learning about cooking and fencing.  Finally fed up with her boring life, Cimorene goes off to find her own adventure.

Emily’s Thoughts – I grew up reading this series and I still re-read it.  It’s a timeless classic taking place in the Mountains of Morning where dragon politics and princess etiquette could change everything.  Cimorene is my favorite princess ever and I wanted to be her when I grew up.


Retelling – Classic fairytale made much more entertaining!

FrogKisser! – by Garth Nix

Anya would rather not have to help her older sister turn the latest suitor back into a prince, but her sister moved onto the next one very quickly.  Now Anya has to gather the ingredients to make a magic lip balm that will break curses without her evil step-step father knowing.  With the help of a ragtag group of talking animal or people spelled into animals, will Anya break the curse and keep her step-stepfather from hurting her and her sister?

Emily’s Thoughts – I loved the Princess and the Frog movie that Disney did a few years back, so when I learned about this book I knew I had to read it!  And I am so happy I did.  This is such a funny book and the magic carpet in it made me actually laugh out loud.  The characters in the book are diverse and don’t conform to gender roles.  You also learn who Snow White really is; she isn’t who you think!!


A Bit More Witchy – The worst Evil Stepmother EVER!

I, Coriander – by Sally Gardner

Coriander is a story about a young girl growing up with lots of challenges to overcome.  One day when she is young a pair of silver shoes are sent to her, but when she puts them on she is sent to a different world.  When Coriander comes back, her whole world changes.  Her mother gets sick and soon she is left with a new stepmother.

Emily’s Thoughts – Coriander is such a great character.  She is so strong and she has to stay strong in order to survive.  She doesn’t just save herself either, throughout her story she helps a lot of people.  This all takes place during the years when Oliver Cromwell was in control of London, because the story partially takes place there.  I loved this book so much and my favorite couple happens to be some side characters in this story.


Folklore – Don’t eat the Fairy food!    

Wildwood Dancing – by Juliet Marillier

Jena and her four sisters have a big secret.  Every full moon they sneak out of their father’s castle to dance all night in the fairy realm.  The only one who knows their secret is Jena’s talking frog.  But their world crumbles when their beloved father gets ill and has to leave for warmer climates than their Transylvanian winter.  Their cousin Cezar is here to help, or so he says, but the girls need to find a way to survive the winter until their father gets home.

Emily’s Thoughts – This is another book I grew up with.  I read it so much that I broke the book!  Jena is strong and smart and actually takes care of her father’s business when he is away.  This is a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses, which is my favorite fairytale ever, but it’s so much more.

About the reviewer: Emily Gaynier grew up in Higganum. Emily has loved books her whole life and that definitely affected her career and school choices. Emily is taking online classes while working at the circulation desk at the Henry Carter Hall Library in Clinton. Emily is studying history and wants to eventually get her Masters in Library Science. Emily wants to help the readers in Haddam and the surrounding areas find good books to read. 

Feel free to check out her book reviews on Goodreads




One Response to Emily Recommends. . . Princess Books

  1. Helen Gaynier

    March 10, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    It’s fitting that your book reviews are about some strong young independent ladies/princesses with International Womens’ Day this week on March 8th. Very enjoyable!