*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Rogue Princess
Author: B.R. Myers
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Princess Delia knows her duty: She must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. Determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway. All Aidan wanted was to “borrow” a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet. Okay, so maybe escaping on a royal ship wasn’t the smartest plan, but he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess! Sparks fly as this headstrong princess and clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they inadvertently uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever.
This sci-fi fairy tale is an interesting, gender-swapped retelling of Cinderella that’s very fun an is reminiscent of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder (any Cinder fans out there?). It’s got an outspoken, confident princess who’s loyal to her nation and wants to do what will best benefit her people, but who’s not afraid to fight for what’s right above all else. It also has the devilishly handsome boy who comes from the rough part of town, but who’s sly, witty, and quick on his feet–the perfect combination to sweep a girl off her feet. The characters are all engaging and interesting in their own right. They have complex depths to them, adding levels of intrigue and layers of surprise to this story. You never quite know exactly what the characters are going to do next, so there is an ongoing freshness to the story as you move through.
This book appealed to my interest in YA sci-fi. It’s not too hardcore, but it’s got some great world building throughout. Myers has constructed a unique universe, but keeps it close to home by focusing on just one planet. We know there are other planets out there, each with their own unique resources and populations, so I wouldn’t rule out more books from Myers within this universe in the future. The prose builds a vivid landscape that is each to sink yourself into, without being too overwhelming.
I will say that, despite its strengths, this wasn’t totally the perfect book for me. There is quite a lot going on throughout and more time could have been spent fleshing out secondary characters who do actually play quite major roles in the story. As well, I mentioned the world building is great, but I did want more description. The landscape, its features and its inhabitants (human and otherwise), have strong historical, spiritual, and political roles; however I didn’t think that enough time was spent exploring these elements. It reminded me a lot of Eywa in Avatar and how integral Eywa is to the life of the planet and the people. The same elements are drawn on in Rogue Princess, but not nearly enough time is spent exploring the resources, stories, and forces outside of the human realm.
Overall though, I did enjoy this novel. YA lovers, this is one to check out.