Top 6 Fantasy Books With Princesses for Adults to Read


Whether it’s out of a fascination with royalty, political intrigue or something else, princesses capture the imaginations of people of all ages.

It’s not uncommon to see them populate the pages of fantasy novels aimed at children, but what about those aimed at adults?

If you’re on the lookout for such a story, you’re in luck. Today’s list is all about these royals.

Here are 6 fantastic fantasy books with princesses to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each one of the books in this list below.

But if you’d prefer a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.


Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and Michelle Rowen

Description

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed…and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined.

Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…

Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past — and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.80

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments 

First on our list of fantasy books with princesses is Falling Kingdoms. This story grabbed fans through its likable characters as well as its action and adventure story-line.

Many praised the book for having a character cast with a mixture of virtues and vices. They struck readers as realistic in the way they might self-justify their actions, for example, or fight the ghosts of their pasts. Because of this, readers tended to say they were intriguing and convincing.

In addition, several readers praised the story for its exciting plot. Filled with assassinations, betrayals, secret alliances and more, Falling Kingdoms kept them glued to its pages. All-in-all, fans lauded this book as reminding them of Game of Thrones

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Overall, these readers focused on Falling Kingdom‘s characters.

Some of them felt the characters were unlikable and, as such, couldn’t get invested in what happened to them. Others thought that they were painted in broad strokes and didn’t have much complexity.  


The Demon King by Cinda Chima Williams

Description

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell — the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked — as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them.

Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history — it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains — riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea — the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.18

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments 

Second on our list of fantasy books with princesses is The Demon King by Cinda Chima Williams. This novel enthralled fans with its captivating characters and rich plot. 

Readers praised Raisa and Hans, the main characters, saying that they were interesting and multidimensional. With such different backgrounds, personalities and perspectives, the combination of the two together brought the story’s world to life. 

Fans also mentioned how the plot itself was full of twists and turns. Sub-plots intersected, overlapped and built on one another, making the court intrigue all that much more absorbing.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Overall, these readers tended to say that they didn’t connect with Raisa or Han. If not that, they weren’t drawn into the story. 

In terms of Han and Raisa, several critics described them as stereotypical Young Adult Fantasy characters. For example, Raisa reminded them of a standard rebellious princess, whose reasons for putting herself in danger struck them as either foolish or selfish. Because of this, these readers weren’t invested in what happened to her. 

On the other hand, some critics said that they found The Demon King slow-paced and without much action.


Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Descriptions

Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart – and bored.

So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon – and finds the family and excitement she’s been looking for.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another fantasy book with princesses that readers enjoyed is Dealing With Dragons. This humorous, quirky novel delights in parodying typical fantasy tropes and tales. Readers said that they found themselves grinning and laughing throughout the story.

In addition to that, fans raved about the protagonist, Cimorene. This princess-turned-dragon-captive is spunky, witty and determined to break outside the mold. Readers found her engaging, refreshing and an overall highlight throughout the novel.

Aside from that, several adult readers said that they appreciated the positive messages and themes in Dealing With Dragons. In particular, these readers thought the book was a great choice for young girls.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Dealing With Dragons, what did they say? In general, critics said that the novel’s parodying of gender-based fantasy tropes was too heavy-handed.

Related to this, others thought that the novel unintentionally sent a different message than it intended. They suspected the story was meant to encourage its audience to have the bravery to resist the pressure to conform to other’s expectations. However, they said that the message instead came off as denigrating more traditionally feminine girls and women.


Through Wolf’s Eyes by Jane Lindskold

Description

Born human, raised by wolves, Firekeeper seems the last person anyone would choose to back as a candidate for heir apparent to a royal throne.

Nonetheless, when Firekeeper and her wolf “brother,” Blind Seer, travel with Earl Kestrel’s expedition into the kingdom of Hawk Haven, the earl thrusts the wolf-woman into the midst of the heated intrigue surrounding who will be chosen as the heir of elderly King Tedric. 

Soon, the only thing the competing factions seem able to agree upon is that Firekeeper is an enemy. Firekeeper may not be able to read or write. She may struggle to speak a coherent sentence. However, if there is one thing the wolf-woman has learned from her life among wolves, it is that a strong pack needs an even stronger leader. 

Will Firekeeper win the fight for the throne? Whatever happens, the wolf-woman’s part in the contest will forever change it, even for those who do not see through wolf’s eyes. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with princesses is Through Wolf’s Eyes. Fans of this novel enthused over its incredible characters, all of whom felt flesh-and-blood. 

Readers described these characters, whether main characters or supporting ones, as capturing their hearts and stirring their emotions. Their interactions with each other, their history and growth were touching and organic. 

In addition to that, other readers praised the book for its political intrigue. Richly detailed and nuanced, fans were delighted and eager to find out how each new twist and turn would impact the characters. 

Negative Comments

What did critics say about Through Wolf’s Eyes? Well, several of them said that the book included too many world-building or character details. However, most of them were generally readers who didn’t enjoy political fantasy.

These readers found the scheming uninteresting and, given that the majority of the book revolves around politics, disengaged with the story.


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Description

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king — a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.80

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with princesses is The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a novel nominated for the prestigious Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Fans fell in love with Elisa, the story’s protagonist and raved about her  portrayal. Many of them were intrigued by how different she is from the typical ‘Chosen One’ character. While most ‘Chosen Ones’ start off as unlikely heroes due to their socioeconomic background, Elisa battles a powerful sense of worthlessness and a sheltered upbringing.

Readers often said that this made her easy to empathize with, especially given how much she has to fight to grow past her weaknesses. Several readers who had battled eating disorders or a negative self-image said they felt a particular connection to her. By the end of the novel, readers of all stripes said Elisa’s growth into a confident and heroic leader inspired them and warmed their hearts. 

Other fans mentioned how much they loved the world-building. In particular, readers praised the book’s multifaceted and respectful inclusion of religion into its setting. Often missing in fantasy world-building, it added a new dimension to Elisa and other characters.

In addition, readers said that seeing characters of different cultural and religious convictions interact was refreshing and made the world come to life.

Negative Comments

Not every reader enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns. So, what did critics say?

For the most part, they had two main reasons. Some were upset that Elisa started off overweight but became thinner over the course of her trials. For instance, she trekked through a desert and had far less food available to consume than usual. Critics interpreted this as linking heroism and thinness.

The second criticism is more ambiguous, having to do with the portrayal of religion. Some readers disliked the fact that Elisa was religious or that religion was included as part of the story’s world. However, their distaste didn’t come across as a criticism against The Girl of Fire and Thorns, so much as a dislike of religion in general.

Ironically, others seemed to think that the religious aspect wasn’t delved into deeply enough. For instance, these critics were intrigued by the philosophical questions Elisa ponders. They said, though, that the book only offered surface-level answers.


Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian 

Description

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess – a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.92

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments 

Last in our list of fantasy books with princesses is Ash Princess. What did fans praise about this novel? Mainly, it was the combination of its dark, gritty world and its mixture of beloved tropes.

For instance, these readers often said that while several aspects of the story were common in the fantasy genre, they were their favorites with a new spin. Whether it was the war, political intrigue, magic or romance, fans praised the story for having the perfect blend of everything they wanted.

Not only that, but several described the plot as loaded with suspense, twists and turns that kept them guessing while they raced through Ash Princess pages. As a bonus, others said that the romance added a moral and emotional complexity to the story they often didn’t find in other novels.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Ash Princess, what did they say about it?

In general, critics disliked what fans loved. They perceived the familiar tropes as clichés, whether those tropes were in the plot, world-building or its love triangle. As a result, these readers found it difficult to get emotionally invested in either the story.


Top 6 Fantasy Books With Princesses for Adults to Read

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Top 6 Fantasy Books With Princesses for Adults to Read


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