The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood by Melanie Cellier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Princess Fugitive is the second book in Melanie Cellier’s The Four Kingdoms series.
The books in this series are all fairy tale retellings, this one focusing on the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
I’ll admit that I have never read the original source material for this classic fairy tale. What I do know of the story of Red Riding Hood, I have gotten solely through television and movie adaptations.
In spite of that, I still really enjoyed my time with this book. This story follows Princess Ava, who we got to meet in the first book in this series, The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea.
I wasn’t crazy about Ava in the first book. She was a bit of a twat, going against the interests of my favorite character in that book, Alyssa.
Here we learn the motivations behind Ava’s earlier behaviors though. Also, since she failed at her mission in the first book, she is forced to flee from her harsh family, bringing only her personal bodyguard, Hans, with her. I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her because of that.
During their exile, Hans and Ava discover more about their kingdom than they knew before. For one, Ava’s family is even more horrible than she could have imagined, particularly her brother, next up to rule as King.
Even though they need to stay hidden, Ava feels compelled to do something to help the citizens of her kingdom, but she cannot do it alone. She needs allies for her fight. Will she be able to gain enough support to save her kingdom from downfall, or will she be the one to fall?
I really enjoyed my time with this story. I have so many other books I feel I ‘should’ be reading right now, but once I started this, I couldn’t stop.
I loved the relationship between Ava and Hans. The books I have read in this series seem to have in common forbidden romance tropes, people falling for people they shouldn’t. I sort of love that.
In this one, Hans is but a guard and Ava a Princess. How can that work? Their stations are so unlike one another. What’s clear though is Hans commitment to Ava, right from the start and that’s hard not to swoon over.
I also liked getting to see some of my favorite characters from the first book pop up here. I wasn’t expecting that at all and really enjoyed those connections.
Additionally, there is a bit of a competition at the end of this story and we all know, I love a competition.
Overall, I’m having a blast with these stories. They’re really not like anything else that I normally read, so it’s such a nice change of pace.
I am definitely planning to continue on with this series via audiobook. I have loved the narration so far. I find it completely engaging and I can’t help but get swept away, which is exactly what I am looking for.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a solid retelling.