Review: The Princess Search

The Princess Search by Melanie Cellier is the unplanned fifth novel in the Four Kingdoms series. It came out last week, and I couldn't wait to read it. It is supposed to be a retelling of "The Ugly Duckling," but it was no more the story of "The Ugly Duckling" than The Princess Fugitive was "Little Red Riding Hood," but the lack of predictability only made the story more enjoyable. The setting felt both familiar and new at the same time because most of the other books in The Four Kingdoms had a side character who was a prince or princess of Lanover, but since the main character in this book was not royalty, she had travelled to parts of the kingdom that the readers have never seen before. It was particularly nice to see the rambunctious youngest princess Celine again, who played a large role in both The Princess Game and A Dance of Silver and Shadow. Since all of her sisters had married off, she was eager to find wives for her two brothers so she coul…

Story Saturday: Prince Braydon

The Stolen Jewel: Prince Braydon Prince Braydon glared at a mountain of letters on his desk. Most of them were from wishful noble ladies who were desperate for his courtship in order to raise their status. It wasn't easy being the most eligible prince in the land. Many others would envy him to have such an admirable problem, but he knew better. There was far more to life than making women swoon and throw themselves at his feet. He was far more interested in learning to run a kingdom. His father had some unique ideas about being king. Even though Braydon did not agree with all of them, he found their discussions fascinating.

"Finished sorting through your mail already?" asked King Mercer as his son cautiously entered the throne room. Braydon never knew what sort of mood his father might be in.
"Why must read I them all? Most of these ladies are so vapid, writing about their hair and clothes and showering me with empty compliments about my appearance. I'd work on…

Goodbye, Storybrooke

Well, that's a wrap. Once Upon a Time is finally over for good. Though the majority of the finale and new season was underwhelming at best, I couldn't help but feel a bit nostalgic by the final scene as the camera dramatically panned out from the half real, half CGI town of Storybrooke. I didn't start this blog until the show was already starting its final season so my opinion toward it in the context of The Princess Blog probably comes off as somewhat negative. When this season started, I had some strong opinions about the way it introduced its new princesses such as Rapunzel and Tiana as well as the way it concluded the stories for its old ones such as Emma and Belle. Eventually, my rants stopped as the series tapered off into a slow build-up to the final episode. Was it the perfect send-off? No, but it was the best they could do with the convoluted multiverse that was formed over years of drawn out story arcs.

The series finale called "Leaving Storybrooke" too…

Sofia the First Mimics Progressive Real-Life Princess Law

This is a big week for Disney Junior's princess in training, Sofia the First. After an indefinite hiatus, the show is back with a new episode every single day this week. There are going to be some pretty big ones including the introduction of a disabled princess and a return to Merroway Cove, where Sofia's mermaid princess friends live. Today's episode, "A Royal Wedding," was no exception. The episode was set during the wedding of Sofia's Aunt Tilly to Sir Bartleby, both of whom were introduced last season. Tilly is a fun Mary Poppins-like character who is the older sister to King Roland. She revealed in an earlier episode that she had inherited Sofia's magical Amulet of Avalor before it was passed down her. Sir Bartleby struggled to confess his feelings to Tilly because he was afraid she would be put off by his odd high-pitched voice, but she accepted him the way he was as soon as she learned the truth. However, none of that was addressed in their weddin…

Review: Unfinished Fairy Tales

When Aya Ling, the author of A Little Mermaid from the Entwined Tales series, placed her novel The Ugly Stepsister on sale, I was hoping not to get too carried away. After all, the book looks like it could easily be a watered down Gregory Maguire wannabe. However, as soon as I began to read the first paragraph, I was instantly hooked on this wish-fulfillment fantasy. Instead of another fairy tale retelling from an alternate perspective, the Unfinished Fairy Tales series is more like a live-action princess movie, in which an ordinary girl travels to another world and transforms into a princess. Even though the series is called Unfinished Fairy Tales, the books do not tell different stories like the Four Kingdoms or Timeless Fairy Tales series. Instead, all of the books are direct sequels about the same character and the same fully fleshed out "Cinderella" world, meaning that if you got hooked on the story from the beginning like me, you will be frantically jumping from one bo…

Story Saturday: Setting Study

The story you are about to read takes place many years before last week's character study for The Stolen Jewel. It is an early attempt to build the history behind the world of Klingland. You may notice that I also tweaked a few things from last week's story, such as killing off Charlotte's parents. We writers can be so heartless at times. I'm looking forward to writing the final piece and learning what you all think about it.

The Stolen Jewel: Setting Study Once upon a time, there was a kingdom known as Klingland that was infused with magic. It flowed through the oceans and poured from the sky. There was nowhere a creature could step without unleashing some sort of power from the earth. Over the course of thousands of years, the magic was soaked up into tangible jewels known as enchanted runes. The markings on the runes revealed what sort of magic they contained. Runes could be found everywhere. They were buried in the earth, washed up in the ocean, and fell from the t…

Confessions of a Grown-Up Princess Fan

There's certainly no shame in loving princesses when you're older. However, ever since I entered my 30s, I noticed that there were certain aspects of princesses and fairy tales that I could no longer relate to. I still believe in fighting for what's right and following my heart, but I don't view the world with the same wide-eyed innocence as I did when I was a teenager. Most princesses are roughly 16, and they tend to act their age. When we're younger, everything is new and exciting, and there are infinite possibilities for the future. Our lives may not be the easiest, but we've never been let down or had their heart broken yet. The older I get, the more I understand why queens are often portrayed as dark or evil. Though I still relate to Ariel's passion and desire for freedom, I probably act more like Megara from Hercules or Kida from Atlantis. These animated heroines have been around long enough to see the world for what it is and don't feel the need…

Review: The Siren and the Scholar

I was so thrilled when the sequel to The Little Siren came out that I couldn't wait to read it. So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Faraway Castle series by J.M. Stengl. The Siren and the Scholar takes place six years after the events of The Little Siren. It is inspired by "The Little Mermaid," and it's my favorite adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale that I've read of it so far. The book catches up with Kamoana and Tor, the titular siren and scholar that were introduced in The Little Siren. Just like the mermaid from the fairy tale, Kamoana becomes human to find Tor again. However, instead of giving up her voice, she gives up her memories of him, so she must find him without even know who she's looking for. His memories of her are wiped as well, causing a lot of frustration on his behalf as an intellectual.

I loved the romance and emotion that went into this story. Kamoana and Tor had forgotten their time together but felt empty as a resu…

Story Saturday: A Character Study

This is not going to be your typical Story Saturday, where I tell an original short story with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, I would like to do a character study for my next novel and/or screenplay, The Stolen Jewel. The story will take place in the same world as my other books and centers on a studious princess and her two ladies-in-waiting. I have not written anything about Princess Charlotte or her ladies yet, so this is a litmus test of sorts to see how well they play off each other. Please let me know in the comments if you enjoyed reading about them and if you would like to see more previews of this story in the future. If I decide to turn it into a novella, it will go up on my Amazon page in paperback and Kindle formats as soon as I am finished. Otherwise, it will become my first project for the professional screenwriting program I applied to. I look forward to your feedback!
The Stolen Jewel: Character Study Charlotte's mind was buzzing with facts about the kingdo…

Review: The Green-Eyed Prince

About a week ago, Brittany Fichter temporarily released her novella, The Green-Eyed Prince, for free on Amazon Kindle. Not wanting to pass up a good deal, I decided to check it out. You might recognize her name from my reviews of The Autumn Fairy and Silent Mermaid. At this point, I would still say that The Autumn Fairy is my favorite Brittany Fichter book. The Green-Eyed Prince is a retelling of "The Frog Prince" set in the world of her Classical Kingdoms Collection. Since it's a novella, it was much shorter than the other books she's written, but the exotic names and made-up words she used to create a new culture took some getting used to. Overall, I found it enjoyable, but not outstanding.

The Green-Eyed Prince is told from the perspective of a woman named Kartek. Kartek is the "jahira" of her tribe, which I understood to be her culture's version of a princess. She has the ability to heal the sick using a magical jewel that she inherited from her moth…

How To Get Princess Nails

I've never been much of a makeup person, but I am obsessed with my nails. I started growing them out in high school, and I get very sad when one breaks. Since I get so many compliments on my nails, I decided to write a little guide to help you have princess nails too! With the recent advancements in nail wraps, there have never been more easy princess and affordable princess nail options than the are now. You never know when having long nails will come in handy for something. If you use a computer a lot, you tend to look at your fingers fairly often. That's why I try to find the best designs to make my nails look as princess-like as possible. If you like how your nails look, you'll smile every time I look down at your keyboard. Check out these amazing Swan Princess nail wraps I just got from Espionage Cosmetics!

These Moonlight Transformation nail wraps are officially licensed by The Swan Princess and portray the effect of moonlight over the waves on Swan Lake during Odett…

Review: Ellie and the Prince/Faraway Castle

The authors I started following from the Entwined Tales Launch Party led me to the discovery of a brand new fairy tale book series, Faraway Castle by J. M. Stengl. As it turns out, her writing style is a perfect match for me. Her books are fast-paced and take place in a magical yet modern setting with a light-hearted tone and lovable characters. The series kicks off with two introductory novellas that can each be completed in about an hour. Cinder Ellie sets up Ellie's backstory for the first novel, Ellie and the Prince, and The Little Siren, which is available for free upon signing up for the author's mailing list, introduces a romance between a mermaid and a human that will take place in the second official novel in the series, The Siren and the Scholar. There is so much to love about this series that I'm not even sure where to begin.

Ellie and the Prince, the first official novel in the Faraway Castle series, tells the story of Ellie Calmer, who was selected to help keep…

Charming and the Decline of Femininity

I've been wanting to write about Charming, an upcoming animated movie for a long time. I first heard about it at the CTN Animation Expo in 2014. However, small animation studios like 3QU tend to have trouble getting their releases off the ground. That might explain why the movie trailer dropped over a year ago without any sign of a release date and then mysteriously disappeared without a trace until last month. According to IMDB, the movie is coming out gradually in various parts of Europe over the course of the next month or so, but there is still no mention of a release date here in America. Despite its limited release, the studio was able to cast some pretty big names, including Demi Lovato, Ashley Tisdale, John Clease, Tom Kenny, and Tara Strong. At first glance, Charming looks like it's just another princess parody from the producers of Shrek, but many of the comments on the trailer revealed some strong opinions that I would like to explore further. Watch it below and for…

Review: Silent Mermaid

When I first wrote Of Land and Sea: The Untold Story of The Little Mermaid in 2009, I never would have expected to be reading so many new adaptations of "The Little Mermaid" years later. As much as I enjoyed The Little Selkie by K.M. Shea and A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling, I must eventually come to terms with the fact that my vision won't always coalesce with every other author's vision of my favorite fairy tale. Sadly, this turned out to be the case for Silent Mermaid by Brittany Fichter. It was significantly longer than the other adaptations I've read, but that was to be expected considering how long The Autumn Fairy, the other book I read by her, was. However, I regret to admit that I enjoyed The Autumn Fairy significantly more than this convoluted retelling of "The Little Mermaid."

Silent Mermaid puts its own spin on "The Little Mermaid" tale by telling the story of a mermaid who was born without a voice as opposed to one who gave it away o…

Do Princesses Ever Get Angry?

As we all know, princesses are the most interesting when written as fully fleshed out characters with a wide range of personalities and emotions. However, some sources claim that princesses, or at least the ones from Disney movies, never experience any feelings other than happiness or sadness. Disney even made this jab at themselves in one of their own movies. In 2007, Giselle from Enchanted was shocked to learn that she was capable of experiencing anger when she left her animated fairy tale world for the grungy reality of modern-day New York City. The implication was that she needed to be a real person in order to experience real emotions. Do two-dimensional princesses really only experience two dimensions of emotion? Let's explore.

To be honest, I find such claims confusing because animated princesses get angry all the time. Ariel's motivation to become human in The Little Mermaid is cultivated by a heated argument she has with her father over whether or not she's old en…