Since I discovered that I had read 54 (54, seriously?!) royal books, I figured I could share my list of the Top Ten!
Without further ado… The Royal Countdown!
10. Heartless by Marissa Meyer – The Queen of Hearts origin story. You’ll forget that the book will end unhappily when our wonderful protagonist becomes the spiteful, vindictive, and cruel Queen of Hearts. So heartbreaking, so royal.
9. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy (3 book series) – For older Elementary and Middle grade readers. This would also be a great read aloud (ask me how I know?!) for kids of all ages. Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav aren’t the best princes and get kicked out of their kingdoms. The only way back? Work together to save their kingdoms, their princesses, and themselves. A boy royal romp? And great princesses too? So much fun! So silly, so royal.
8. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (3 book series) – The morning of her wedding to the Prince of Dalbreck, Lia runs away to start a new life away from royal court. Little does she know that her intended groom and an assassin from a neighboring hostile country are hot on her trail. The prince wants answers about why the marriage didn’t take place and the assassin is ordered to prevent the marriage from happening, by killing the runaway bride. Told in different points of view, between Lia, Kaden, and Rafe – Mary Pearson keeps you guessing as to which gentleman is the groom and which is the killer until the very end. So sinister, so royal!
7. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (11 book series plus 7 additional in between books and novellas) Specifically Book 3, Princess in Love, which was by far my favorite of the series – These are old school now… Back in the day when teens didn’t have cell phones or social media, Mia Thermopolis discovers she is the only heir to the throne of Genovia and begins her training to be a princess. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know the bare bones but, as always, there are several major differences (spoiler alert – her grandmother is NOT Julie Andrews) and THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER!* (Don’t even get me started on the movie, Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. The ONLY good thing about that movie was Chris Pine. That’s right. I said it.) So-the-drama, so royal!
6. Runaway Princess by Hester Browne** – Mistaken identities allow a British gardener, Amy, to meet and fall in love with Leo before she even realizes that he is the crown prince of Nirona. When Amy discovers his true identity, she attempts to be what he needs her to be – a real princess – but finds it hard to maintain her life and her business. Will she become Queen, losing herself in the process, or is love enough to make a relationship survive? So adorable, so royal!
5. The Selection by Kiera Cass (3 book series with a subsequent duology in the same universe) – The Bachelor meets the Hunger Games, if you will. America Singer applies to be a contestant in the Selection, a televised competition to win Prince Maxon’s hand in marriage. When she is selected to participate, her boyfriend, Aspen, dumps her (thinking she can now do better than him – how disgustingly noble) and America is able to attract the attention of Maxon. What ensues is a trilogy of books focused on the love triangle between America, Maxon, and Aspen, with some political upheaval and personal drama thrown in for (great) effect. So dystopian, so royal!
4. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (3 book series, but this is the only royal book) – A re-imagining of the reign of Lady Jane Gray, who ruled England for only 9 days before losing her head. In this not-at-all true story, it’s not Catholics and Protestants at odds, but people who can turn into animals (E∂ians – pronounced eth-ee-yuns) against those who abhor animal magic (Verities). Jane’s story is intermixed with the story of King Edward, her cousin, and Gifford Dudley (Call me G), Jane’s husband who’s harboring a very horse-y secret. Will Jane keep her head in this hilarious romp? You must read it to find out. Another delightful book. So historically inaccurate, so royal!
And because I’ve read so many, one more to grow on….
Bonus Royal! The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller – Alessandra has only one goal. Marry the king, kill him, and take the throne for herself. When his life is threatened by someone else, she must put aside her plans (for the time being) to get rid of her competition. So what is she to do when she starts having, gulp, feelings for him. So cunning, so royal!
That’s it. Let me know if there are any royal books you love that I have missed! Is there one that you think I. Must. Read? Leave me a message in the comments because, I always need more royal books!
*There are very, very few instances when this statement is false. The Book. Is. (Almost.) Always. Better.
**Hester Browne is a really hard author to find in the United States. They don’t have any of her books at Bookshop.org so it may be worth it to see if your local library has it or your local bookshop can order it for you. Amazon.com does have it. Or, you can pick it up on your next jaunty trip to London.