Princess Sadie is stuck in a tower, with many a Prince having failed to rescue her. So when Princess Amira arrives, she’s initially sceptical – but of course, Amira is no Prince.

The maiden-in-a-tower setup of Princess Princess Ever After is merely the jumping off point for a charming fairy tale, which subverts so much that we’re used to seeing in these types of stories.

Without spoiling too much, Sadie and Amira’s partnership develops in a sweet and heartwarming way, with the revelation that Sadie is keeping herself not only in a physical tower, but also a metaphorical one too.

Despite the brevity of the story, there’s time to explore the backstories of each of the female main characters, as well as introduce us to another character or two (mainly Prince Adric and a large, supposedly threatening Ogre.

Almost every point in each character’s story reveals the frustration and sadness of being kept in neat boxes, crushed under the weight of expectation of what you should be, rather than what you want to be.

It’s a diverse, inclusive tale that is incredibly good natured, beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated by the fantastic Katie O’Neill (credited here on the cover as K. O’Neill and internally as Kay O’Neill).

They’ve produced such a lovely story that it’s hard not to get swept away with the charm of it all; only the hardest of hearts will fail to be melted by the end of the book’s genuinely touching epilogue.

Though ostensibly aimed at younger readers, it’s a fun – if brief – and well-intentioned read for just about anyone; I’d be very surprised if the gently subversive, cute adventures found in the pages of Princess Princess Ever After didn’t charm whoever happens to read it. Almost the very definition of cosy fantasy, the only issue is just how brief it is; it’d be lovely to spend more time in the company of Sadie and Amira.

You can purchase Princess Princess Ever After from Amazon here.

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