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Monday, November 05, 2018

The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye

The Ordinary PrincessOnce upon a time, in the faraway kingdom of Phantasmorania, there lived a king and a queen who had six beautiful, blue eyed and golden haired daughters named after assorted gems. One day, the queen announced that she was going to have a seventh daughter. Because she wanted to really celebrate the birth of her seventh child, the queen insisted on inviting all of the local fairies to the christening.

The fairies gave the seventh princess the standard blessings (charm, wit, grace, courage, etc.) until a very crabby old fairy who had gotten stuck in a traffic jam finally made it to the party. She was utterly unimpressed with self-important monarchs who didn't regulate traffic patterns during large state occasions, and bestowed the blessing she felt would make the princess happier than all the other gifts combined: she told the princess that she would be ordinary.

Over the years, Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne (now called Amy, a much more ordinary name) remained... ordinary. Her beautiful golden locks faded to a mousy brown, she developed a tendency to freckle, and she didn't really see what difference it made because she had other things to think about. Princess Amy would rather climb trees and swim in the river than create delicate embroidery or gently throw a golden ball back and forth with her sisters. She enjoyed her life but wished to see more of the world. And then one day, Princess Amy decided that she did not want to marry a handsome but boring prince, so she climbed out the wisteria vine on her window and went off to find an adventure.

This is a shorter book, but it is an awful lot of fun! I would recommend it for fans of princesses, especially nontraditional and adventuring princesses found in books like Dealing with Dragons, Hamster Princess, or The Princess in Black. Princess Amy is likable and resourceful, and it is so nice to read a book in which the main female character is not beautiful but also not bothered by that fact at all. Princess Amy's ordinariness makes her happy, and her outlook on the world will delight anyone who occasionally wants to run away to the woods.

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