Princess that Kick Ass

The Hero and the Crown - Robin McKinley The Tiger Claw: A Novel - Shauna Singh Baldwin The Light Bearer - Donna Gillespie Uppity Women of Medieval Times - Vicki León Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan - Shrabani Basu

So you just watched Frozen, Mulan, or Once Upon a Time, and you want to continue with the non-traditional Disney Princess.  Here are some suggestions.


Fantasy (YA and Adult)


  1. The Princess Series by Jim C Hines. Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty are the kingdom’s best defense.  Hines’ four book series draws from the original stories (his Sleeping Beauty is called Talia for a reason), and is a wonderful rebuttal to the damsel in distress stories.
  2. The Tamir Triad by Lynn Flemming. You think you have it tough, this princess didn’t even know she was girl for the longest time.
  3. Indigo Series by Louise Cooper. A princess must search out and destroy demons that have laid waste to her kingdom.  This series gets extra bonus points because the princess’ companion wolf is even female.
  4. Dragondoom by Denis L. McKiernan. While this book is part of McKiernan’s Mithgar series, you do not have to read the series in order.  Tired of father and son always slaying dragons, check this one out. As well as a kick ass princess.
  5. Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. Princess slays dragons.   What more do you want?
  6. The Sun Sword Series by Michelle West. West’s princess is only one character out a vast tapestry.  She doesn’t wield a sword or bow, but she is one of the strongest women you will ever come across.  West shows us that strength and bravery isn’t always simply physical.





  1. Uppity Women series by Vicki Leon. Not all the women Leon profiles are princesses but she includes quite a few in her brief biographies of women who bucked history.
  2. The Warrior Queens by Antonia Fraser. Fraser discusses women who ruled and who fought for their kingdoms.  She travels Europe, Africa, and Asia. 
  3. Spy Princess by Shrabani Nasru. Noor Khan was a princess and a wireless operator in Nazi occupied France.  She was also a pacifist.  She also is a largely unsung hero.
  4. Cleopatra a Life by Stacey Stiff. An excellent biography about Cleopatra who was far more than Caesar and Mark Anthony’s lover.  
  5. The Woman who Would be King by Kara Cooney. Cooney’s book is about Hatshepsut, an Egyptian princess who became a Pharaoh.  She wore a fake beard.
  6. Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the War of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood. Tired of all the Tudor men?  Check out this.



Literature/General Fiction


  1. The Tiger Claw by Shauna Singh Baldwin - This historical novel centers on Noor Khan and her time in France.
  2. Imperial Woman by Pearl Buck – Historical fiction about the last Empress of China.
  3. She-King Series by Libbie Hawker – Want to read a historical fiction about Hatshepsut? Hawker is a good place to start.
  4. The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie - A thick historical novel about a young German princess fighting against the Romans. It has an interesting twist on Rapunzel.
  5. Erhengard by Isaac Dinesen – Not so much a princess, but a lovely noblewoman who outsmarts a rogue.
  6. Grania She King of the Irish Sea by Morgan Llywelyn – A good historical novel about a true life woman pirate.