Series Review: The Four Kingdoms by Melanie Cellier

This is a Young Adult (kinda) series that is centered around fairytale retellings. Each story is a different relationship and a new fairytale. The realm has four countries and we rotate through with each kingdom’s royal family and unique political problems. The stories focus around mystery and adventure with a touch of political intrigue. While they can be predictable, the stories were really fun and the romances were genuinely very sweet.

Genre: Light fantasy – There are a lot of magical references but none of our characters use magic. Young Adult – The romances are all fluff. The main characters tend to be late teens (at youngest 16) to early twenties, so it’s your call.

My review: The retelling elements are really clever and the references make me smile. The romances are based in trust and love. They also always involve members of the other’s family or their friends. Well the relationships tend to cross classes, there is consideration for class politics and identities before and during the romance. Because it is a series you can the political ramifications as well.

The Books

  1. The Princess Companion (Princess and the Pea)
  2. The Princess Fugitive (Red Riding Hood)
  3. Happily Ever Afters (Snow White and Rose Red – Novella)
  4. The Princess Pact (Rumpelstiltskin)
  5. A Midwinter’s Wedding (Princess and the Frog – Novella)
  6. he Princess Game (Sleeping Beauty)
  7. The Princess Search (The Ugly Duckling)

Favorite Retelling:

I thought The Princess Pact which was a Rumpelstiltskin retelling that actually made sense! Melanie Cellier flipped the deal Rumpelstiltskin made and it was so smart and made me really care about the families created.

Favorite Couple:

Ava and Hans from The Princess Fugitive. Honestly, princess and the guard is one of my favorite tropes, but I also love couples that make each other better.

Favorite Kingdom:

Lanover. This is a kingdom that the Princess Game and the Princess Search take place in. There is a huge variety of geographic location and culture that actually gets explored.

Favorite Family:

Arcadia (from The Princess Companion). I think we do spend the most time with this family but they are so genuinely welcoming and love spending time together. Lily and Sophia, twin princesses, are hilarious. The parents genuinely just care about Prince Max’s happiness.

Favorite Book:

The Princess Search. One I never expected an Ugly Duckling retelling to work so well or hit so hard. It was a great travel and mystery story. There is a lot of unpacking of past trauma and focus on valuing relationships and oneself. The romance was beautiful and such a slow burn.

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