THE LOVELESS PRINCESS
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: SHORT STORY, LGBTQIA+ (ASEXUAL MC, GAY SECONDARY CHARACTERS), FANTASY
Princess Anette doesn’t love her fiancé, Prince Everett, and despite constant assurances from everyone around her, knows she never will. It’s not that he’s terrible, it’s simply that she doesn’t love anyone, or want to be with anyone, the way the rest of the world says she should.
But princesses must marry princes. She’s expected to have her proper happily ever after. So Annette tries her best to be happy in her new life—until she catches her husband with the stable boy, and in a moment of anger wishes Prince Everett would just disappear.
And then he does.
Warning: This book contains on-page attempted sexual assault and references to a past sexual assault. Also contains aphobic language, although this is countered within the text.
This is a really, really short book — just 56 pages — so it’s a little hard to judge.
I enjoyed Princess Anette a lot. She had a great personality and strong moral compass. I sympathised with her situation and was rooting for her throughout the story. She’s also the first time I’ve ever seen an aroace princess, so bonus points for that!
Although the book is short, I feel the pacing was terribly off. The first half could have been condensed to ages pages without much loss. The section detailing Anette’s quest needed either a much larger percentage of the book or for the book to be longer, with the extra pages in this part. I thought there was lots of potential in the quest half of the story and would have loved to see each encounter given more time to develop.
[Note on the rep: Neither of the terms aromantic or asexual are used in the text but Anette frequently states that she has no interest in love or sex. Personally, I did think a clearer distinction could be made between ‘love’ (e.g her parents, friendships) and ‘romantic love’. I’d really like to see aro and/or ace readers thoughts though.]