The Loveless Princess

Lilian Bodley’s The Loveless Princess, published May 2017, is a fairytale with an aromantic heroine. A heroine who is a princess, and a princess must love her prince. Everyone knows that…

Princess Anette is getting married. It is an arranged marriage to a prince of a larger, neighbouring kingdom. She has never met (or even seen) her intended, Prince Everett, and given the choice would gladly call the whole thing off. Far worse than the awful fact of the marriage itself, however, is the way everyone expects her to be excited to meet her prince. Marriage is, after all, the beginning of a grand, romantic adventure…

For Princess Anette, it is a horror story, getting worse and worse until she snaps, and screams at her new husband, “Just disappear and never come back!” This being a fairytale, Prince Everett promptly disappears – and a guilty Anette sets off on a quest to bring him back.

In part, this is a love story, but the romance is between secondary characters. Although the words are never used, Anette is aromantic and asexual, and there is also a second aro ace character in the story. There is even a ‘happily ever after’ that doesn’t require our heroine to fall in love with her prince. With all the fairytale magic in this story, I’m a little surprised that no one offered the princess a love spell for herself – and this is a world in which love spells can change a person’s orientation.

This novella reminds me a little of Tenth Kingdom, the way so many fairytales are referenced and even fairytale characters appear in the story, notably Briar Rose – I like the way roses are something of a nocturnal pest. I would have preferred this story to have been a longer work with real world building and character development – in other words, more of a fantasy, less of a modern fairytale. But I downloaded it yesterday, and read it in one sitting, and that’s a rare pleasure for me.

About Frank

A Sci-Fi & Fantasy author and lyrical poet with a mild obsession for vampires, succubi, goddesses and Supergirl.
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5 Responses to The Loveless Princess

  1. Sounds interesting, Frank. I can see from your description how it might have expanded into a longer tale. It seems like there’s a lot going on.

    • Frank says:

      I like fairytales, and this certainly has the spirit of a fairytale. But it also adds just enough reality that it makes you wish for greater depth.

  2. Vashti Q says:

    Good, honest review, Frank. This book is intriguing because it reads unique. Thank you!

  3. Oh this sounds good! Will get it for my winter reading – along with all the other books on my Kindle that I still haven’t managed to read…

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