A True Princess

Gr 4—6—This reinterpretation of "The Princess and the Pea" begins with Lilia running away from the only home she has ever known when she overhears her foster mother planning to send her away to work as a servant. Joined by Karina and Kai, her foster mother's stepchildren, Lilia decides to travel north to see if she can discover her true identity. The three hear stories of the Elf-King and are warned to stay on the road as they travel through the forest, but are forced to flee from bandits and stumble onto the elves' Midsummer celebration. Kai is immediately enthralled by the Elf-King's daughter and forced to stay with her unless Lilia can retrieve a jeweled clasp from the local king's castle. Lilia and Karina start work as maids at the palace and begin their search. The only room they cannot enter is reserved for the young women who arrive at the palace to try the "true princess" test, which no one has yet to win. Eventually they find a way into the room, which has only a bed inside. Karina falls asleep, Lilia doesn't, and this leads to the discovery of her past. It also leads to the discovery of the clasp, Kai's eventual freedom, and the betrothal of Karina and the prince. Readers who enjoyed Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997), Zahler's The Thirteenth Princess (HarperCollins, 2010) or E.D. Baker's "Tales of the Frog Princess" series (Bloomsbury) will also relish this tale.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
In this fairy tale, Lilia is on a quest to locate a jewel that will free her friend Kai from the Elf-King. Meanwhile, Lilia's friend Karina and a prince searching for a "true princess" fall in love (with echoes of "The Princess and the Pea"). Readers who enjoyed Zahler's The Thirteenth Princess will likely appreciate this lighter tale as well.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing