In honor of Disney's new princess

The Little Clockwork Mermaid - Pip Ballantine The Stepsister Scheme - Jim C. Hines Ash - Malinda Lo Cinder - Marissa Meyer The Gaslight Dogs - Karin Lowachee

So Disney has a new princess.  Her name is Elena, and she is Latina.  She is also a ruling princess (so I guess she is really a queen).  She has a tv series.  She looks like this:




Here are some other kick ass princesses in books.  The corresponding Disney princess is listed as well.


1. The Princess Novels by Jim C Hines The series runs four books and is basically princesses as super agents.  It sounds silly, but Hines draws on the original and darker stories.  I cannot praise this series highly enough.  (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel)


2. The Little Clockwork Mermaid by Pip Ballantine  (short story)

  Ballantine's steampunk retelling has a rather nice twist on the ending.  (Ariel)


3. Beauty and Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

 Some believe that McKinley's first Beauty and the Beast retelling, Beauty, was a source for Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  McKinley's second Beauty and the Beast retelling, Rose Daughter, is different but still a cut above.  She also shows that kicking ass isn't just physical.(Belle)


4. Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

 While this might not be a favorite if you are a Robin Hood purist, I have to wonder if this book also didn't inspire Merida from Brave.  (Merida)


5. The Wife of Bath's Tale by Chaucer

A version of Beauty and the Beast were the beast is the woman.  (Belle)


6. Ash by Malinda Lo

 An interesting and very different take on Cinderella.  The ending is better than the shoe test.  (Cinderella)


7. Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device by Tee Morris (short story)

 Like his partner's "Little Clockwork Mermaid", Morris follows the original story closely, yet he actually includes a fairy tale mother and a fun princess.  Shocking I know.  (Jasmine)


8. The Adventures of the Frog Prince by J. R. Barker

 A truly wonderful version of the princess and the frog.  Really awesome.  (Tianna)


9. Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

 The true heroine here isn't the Ariel figure, but that other princess.  You know the one the prince marries in the story.  Quite a powerful novel.  (Ariel)


10. Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowchee

 It is unclear if the heroine in this novel is royalty.  She most likely isn't.  It is however, far superior to Disney's Pocahontas (Pocahontas)  Lowechee gives an alternate view of the British empire.  It is also strongly recommended that you listen to Inuit throat singing while reading.


11. Binu and the Great Wall by Tong Su

 Part of the Canongate myth series, this book relates the story of a woman searching for her husband.  He was taken away to build the Great Wall of China.  It is a moving tale about love.  (Mulan)


12. Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper

Using the story of Sleeping Beauty, Tepper presents a fantasy/sci-fi family saga involving more than one fairy tale.  (Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White)


13. The Witch novels of Discworld, including the YA Tiffany Novels by Terry Pratchet 

While pretty much all of Pratchett's work draws on fairy and folk tale, the Witch novels (starting with Wyrd Sisters) as well as the stories of Tiffany take great fun at inverting fairy tales.  His Nation also features another kick-ass princess.  (Cinderella, Belle)


14. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

 A science fiction series that makes use of various fairy tales.  Meyer's combination of fairy tale with robots is inventive.  (Cinderella, Rapzunel)


15. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

 Carter's collection of short stories features version of Beauty and the Beast that play with ideas of what a beast is.  (Belle, Snow White)


16. Fables by Bill Willingham

This comic series (and various spin offs) makes good use of various stock fairy tale figures.  Here is a spy Cinderella for instance.  (Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, and others)