“A True Princess,” by Diane Zahler, is the story of Lilia, a servant who runs away from the sheep-farming family that raised her, when she realizes that the farmer’s cruel wife intends to sell her to the miller. Trying to escape her fate, she flees the farm with the farmer’s two children, Kai and Karina, and the sheepdog, Ove. Can they brave the dangers of the journey and make it all the way to one of the northern kingdoms?
Lilia has always known she was different. When she was just a baby, she came floating down the river to the farm, wrapped in a green blanket of wool, sleeping in a basket. With her purple eyes and dark hair, she had always stood out against the blonde people with blue eyes of the south. As Lilia and her party journey north, she hopes to find people of similar features and one day meet her family. But they must overcome many obstacles on their journey north.
Lilia and Karina find themselves rushing to find a ransom — a powerful jewel — or risk losing their friends and family forever. As their search continues, Lilia and Karina venture to search the palace (under the guise of maids) for the missing stone. During their search, an accident reveals that all is not what it seems about Lilia, and her lineage is more incredible than she could possibly have imagined. When Lilia returns to save the loved ones she left behind, the book reaches a thrilling climax — with Lilia facing off against a terrifying creature to rescue those she lost — with an outstanding outcome.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading “A True Princess.” Lilia is a strong, independent, loyal girl who braves the terrors of traveling in the wilderness to discover who she truly is, and then braves them again to rescue her dearest friend. I would recommend “A True Princess” to people who like reading about magic, adventure, and love against-the-odds. It was a wonderful mix of “The Princess and the Pea,” and, in my opinion, “Little Red Riding Hood,” and I finished it soon after I started.