Katie's Reviews > The Ordinary Princess

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
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Dec 25, 14

bookshelves: retellings, fantasy, young-adult
Read in April, 2012

The biggest thing that stood out to me was in the beginning: "True, the splendid jewels and brocades of the kings and princes and barons were quite out of place on her homely little person, but the fairy gifts had been very useful, for though she was ordinary, she possessed health, wit, courage, charm, and cheerfulness. But because she was not beautiful, no one ever seemed to notice these other qualities, which is so often the way of the world."

This is an adorable take on the traditional fairy tale princess. I loved the reference to Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty ("You may have forgotten what happened to my great-great-great-great grandmother, but I have not. Had to sleep for a hundred years, poor girl, and the entire court with her, and all because of some silly fairy business at the christening.") Because Amy was so different from her sisters, this really makes her extraordinary to the reader - which makes me wish that Kaye hadn't married her off at all. That's such a traditional and ordinary thing to do! Still, it was handled in a cute, if not surprising, way.

There was the usual reveal of Peregrine & Amy's individual persons, but each character handled it with aplomb and humor. I did have a slight issue with the fact that he decided to send a proposal envoy to her parents before he had even asked Amy. Every other bit of this book spoke to independent young women and this stood out to me as a little awkward and heavy-handed.

I did heartily enjoy the mockery of bureaucracies that were interspersed within the various council meetings ("We will require a Minister in Charge of Hiring a Suitable Dragon and a subcommittee for drawing up the draft of a suitably worded proclamation.")

Favourite: "Well, you know what princes are," said Clorinda wisely. "Just a lot of little boys when it comes to killing dragons."
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