Title: The Princess Will Save You
Author: Sarah Henning
Pub. Date: July 7, 2020
When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her into a political marriage, she doesn’t give in—she goes to rescue him.
When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.
But Amarande was raised to be a warrior—not a sacrifice.
In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.
This will be a spoiler free review.
My hopes were high for this book. It was one of my most anticipated reads for 2020. I was excited for a The Princess Bride retelling/adaptation, and I love the cover of this book. I’m a sucker for Charlie Bowater art, and I would have bought a physical copy of the book, for the cover alone.
I was disappointed in this book. It barely held my interest. I wish I’d loved it, but I was so bored.
I know this is supposed to be a direct recreation of the Princess Bride, just roles reversed, but I really don’t think that direct comparison helped this book. I never got that feeling of epic love that I get when watching The Princess Bride. Luca was utterly useless, and I honestly didn’t care for his character. I’m all for a “damsel in distress” character, but I found his lacking ability to do anything worthwhile to be annoying and boring.
Then there’s Amarande, the warrior King’s daughter who has never known any kind of battle, but is apparently highly trained, and I’m just sitting her confused. She’s supposed to be this badass, but has legit never faced any hardships, or never had to actually fight someone?
I’m tired of this fantasy element that has “warrior daughters” but they never see any kind of fighting, battle, life or death situations, but when it counts, they’re just perfect – they know how to survive, can kill no problem…
It’s not enough to just make her a Warrior, because her father is a Warrior King. Give me examples as to why people shouldn’t fuck with her, take those she loves.
I don’t even care about the rest of the characters, not really. I think some of them got what they deserve.
I also found the world a bit confusing. Sure, it came to life on the page, and it was pretty easy to visualize, but I felt like we didn’t get enough history, enough knowledge to fully grasp the political spiderweb that interconnected the various Kingdoms. I wanted some more background, world building, to make the world seem more real, and not just a visual pretty, if not tough place.
I will say, that despite all the issues I had with this book, I think the ending was the strongest. I was actually interested, I didn’t see the plot twists coming, and I might be enticed to read book 2 whenever it comes out. I’m really bummed that this didn’t live up to my expectations for it. It’s not a terrible book, and overall, I guess it was enjoyable (the ending being the saving grace). I just wish it had been a bit more and gave me feelings that actually felt akin to the ones The Princess Bride gives me.
This book is out now, so if you’re curious, feel free to check it out and let me know what you think!