Tough Traveling – Princesses


Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin …

This weeks theme? PRINCESSES

PRINCESSES come in two main kinds:

1. Wimps.

2 Spirited and wilful. Spirited Princesses often disguise themselves as boys and invariably marry commoners of sterling worth.

There, that oughta make up for the tough week we just went through. There is no shortage of Princesses in fantasy, think I will just pick a few favorites.

I tried to come up with examples of both. But, I want to kick princesses that are wimps, and if possible I choose not to read about them. So, any I have read have been banished to the recesses of my memory, and instead, I think my choices fall string in the Spirited and Willful variety.

Clarice from the House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory – Definitely the Spirited variety of Princess. While we know she is a princess, almost the entire book consists of her traveling under the guise of ‘Clarence’ (so not just masking her royal-ness, but also her gender). And her ambition is to earn a name for herself as a master sword fighter. Yeah, that sounds like my kind of Princess.



18138189-2Princess Lyrna from Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan – Another spirited princess. This one has both power and is on her journey to find peace for their lands is anything but pampering.





MothandSparkbyAnneLeonardMoth and Spark by Anne Leonard – The princess in this one is not exactly a main character. But she is definitely mentioned a few times, and I liked and remembered what I heard. So, we may see much of her, but I have to love a princess that will dress in boys clothes to head out to the fair with her brother (the prince that is featured in this).



20299849Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell – You know how to become a princess? Just start calling yourself one. That will definitely turn out well, don’t you think? Jesting aside, I won’t name this character since she does not start out as a princess. But eventually, she gains that status. If it turns out to be legit or not? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂




17185863Snow White in Poison by Sarah Pinborough – How can I make of list of princesses and not include a Disney princess?? But, since I’m not exactly a Disney type of girl, I am going with Pinborough’s version of Snow White. She is still much loved by people and nature, but now she has a more carefree, reckless way to her fun in the forest. And a penchant for enjoying all of the earthy pleasures afforded her.


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14 thoughts on “Tough Traveling – Princesses”

  1. Great list! Naturally, I haven’t read most of these books, but I did think of putting the girl from Traitor’s Blade in but couldn’t think of her name. Glad you included her anyway. 🙂

  2. I had the same thought – I haven’t seen a lot of wimpy princesses in fantasy, but maybe that’s because we’re just reading the right books 😀 Wimpy princesses, no thanks!

    I’ve read all the books in your list this week except Poison…but damn, I just realized I have like no recollection of the princess in Moth and Spark! XD
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