The Princess Fugitive- Melanie Cellier

Synopsis: Princess Ava used to be a weapon – sharp, strong and beautiful. But when she fails at her most important task, she’s forced to flee from her own family.

Only her personal bodyguard, Hans, remains loyal. Hans claims to know the real Ava but she finds that hard to believe – after all, she’s been the villain so long that she can’t remember anything else.

But deep in exile, Ava learns her kingdom needs a hero and she might be the only one who can save it. The catch? She’ll have to ally herself with the very people she blames for her downfall.

But in a game of life and death where the stakes are an entire kingdom, winning over her enemies will only be the beginning. Can one fugitive save her people, her kingdom and, hardest of all, herself?

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, the girl in the red hood has been swallowed up by the wolf and must decide if she’s willing to fight for her freedom, no matter the cost.

 

Violence

Frequent, but mild, violence. It starts with an assassination attempt, has guards roughly shaking down caravans and harassing people, and visions of a wolf hunting someone… The former king had been cold, forcing his children to become cruel and ordering sentences such as having a girl whipped. There’s a contest between heirs that consists of duels and so forth, ending with the death of a character.

 

Romance

Married couples embrace. Kisses- manipulative and real- occur, as well as a lot of confusion and soul-searching in Ava about her emotional/mental state.

 

Alcohol/Substance

Someone is poisoned and characters drink wine.

 

Language

n/a.

 

Religion

The High King and his fairy-godmothers seem very much like an allegory. He watches over the Four Kingdoms, declaring true love, granting forgiveness and aiding in the pursuit of peace.

 

Overall feel: The horror! A weapon turning from hard, cold steel, into a gentle, kind and forgiving queen… A girl who, although she’d become a manipulative schemer with no qualms about getting her hands dirty, found forgiveness and love, transformed from a rabid wolf, into a stately, loving queen.
A retelling of a beloved story, one that is encouraging as it reminds us of our own experience of salvation, grace and forgiveness.

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