Runaway Princess

Young Adult - Coming of Age
227 Pages
Reviewed on 07/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Ever dreamed of being a princess and living in a royal palace with everything you could possibly want at your fingertips? Princess Louise-Marie, firstborn and second in line to the throne of Limolou, doesn’t want to live in the royal palace anymore. She makes her first escape at the age of nine but is found and returned to face the wrath of her royal parents, not before earning her nickname as the 'runaway princess.' As a young woman, waiting to wed a mean Duke, she makes her final escape, this time to a convent where her father has no influence or power to have her returned to the palace. The princess is distraught with the state of affairs in Limolou; she cares about the people and she hates her father for all the dreadful things he does. She also hates his mistress who is intent on seeing the legitimate royal children killed so her son, the king’s illegitimate child, takes the throne. Royal life and life outside the palace is a quagmire of discontent, anger, and growing unrest. This is, after all, the era of Marie Antoinette and history recorded what happened to her.

Valerie Anne Hudson’s historical fiction novel, Runaway Princess, is a cozy read set in an unsettling era that pitted nobility against the common folk. The plot reads like a fairy tale mixed with elements of historical romance. Princess Louise-Marie, the protagonist, is the Cinderella princess in reverse. Her noble cause and ability to make things right make her both loveable and, at times, challenging. The descriptive narrative is well orchestrated with compelling dialogue to move the story forward. While the runaway princess lives up to her name in her attempt to redefine herself outside the palace walls, she is the shining example of all of us who try to find ourselves, to define who we are and what our purpose is in life. A relaxing read, this story is also filled with words of wisdom and a profound vision of humanity.

Jennifer Ibiam

Runaway Princess is set in medieval times in the little kingdom of Limolou. It was ruled by King Edward and his wife with an iron fist. While the royal family had plenty, the citizens suffered in squalor. The king’s eldest daughter and second in line to the throne was different. Princess Louise-Marie was ordinary and didn’t have the airs and graces of royalty. Her life was hell in the palace and so she tried to run away. When her father, the king, sealed her fate to marry a vile man, she made a drastic decision that would cancel her claim to the throne. However, once her father’s wicked mistress pitched her son to be king and her brother, the heir, was in danger, Louise must act! Read Runaway Princess by Valerie Anne Hudson and see how the story pans out.

Runaway Princess by Valerie Anne Hudson is a beautiful tale of love, deceit, manipulation, survival, and humor. The plot had depth, and I loved it because it revolved around fate and destiny. Valerie developed the characters so well, and I had a great time watching Louise progress from the age of nine to over seventeen. Queen Anne-Marie was another interesting character whose hairstyles made me laugh so much. Valerie is such a talented storyteller who employed vivid descriptions that ignited my imagination. I loved the laid-back setting infused with plenty of action, seamless dialogues, and stylish writing. The novel was fast-paced, with stops for laughter. However, a lesson I learned was that while infidelity may not be frowned upon in some circles, it has dire consequences. Thank you for a fun read, Valerie.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Princess Louise-Marie of Limolou seemed to be a disappointment to many, including her parents. She lacked the charm and traditional beauty her younger sisters possessed. With her ungainly manners and fear of public speaking, nobody deemed her suitable to become a leader. Neglected by the royal parents who were busy running the country and ridiculed by her sisters for being clumsy, Louise-Marie yearns to escape the confinement of the palace. However, things change when Henri, her younger brother and heir to the throne, suffers a fall from his horse. Louise begins to suspect that the unfortunate accident had a sinister plot behind it. Can she unearth the conspiracy and save her family? In Runaway Princess, Valerie Anne Hudson tells us a story of love, greed, and betrayal.

Valerie Anne Hudson presents us with a cast of well-developed characters complete with satisfactory character arcs. The royal family was indifferent and unconcerned about their subjects’ well-being, thus resulting in a social upheaval. Louise and Henri were the only exceptions with their down-to-earth natures. Using Louise’s perspective, Hudson provided us with ample views of the socio-economic disparities in the late 1700s. The commoners’ struggles to obtain the minimum essentials of life appalled her, strengthening her resolution to help them. Although either a suitable marriage or a convent was the sole destiny of royal women, Louise resisted this doctrine with all her might. Strong and resilient, she paved her own way in the world. I would recommend her story, Runaway Princess, to any reader appreciating historical fiction.

Hayley Haun

Runaway Princess by Valerie Ann Hudson is a young adult novel in a historical setting. The storyline follows Princess Marie-Louise of Limolou. At a young age, she has never felt truly a part of her family. Even though royalty, she wonders if life outside the palace is better as long as she can run away from the stares, gossip, and responsibilities she cannot seem to handle well. Marie-Louise is afraid of both her mother and father. They are disappointed she is not more like her younger brother, the golden prince. Marie-Louise always feels the need to leave, but is it always the right decision? If she does, will things in the palace and her life become better?

For those who have felt like outcasts and never fit in, Runaway Princess by Valerie Ann Hudson rings true. But that doesn’t mean those outcasts can’t make a change. The world is a lot different outside our own doors. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad; issues abound and problems arise. One by one, each person can make a change, big or small. Princess Marie-Louise is one of these people. She learns how to stand up not only for herself but also for her people. I loved how she was able to see the bigger picture at the end. The character development did not disappoint. Furthermore, I appreciated the references and hints of those catalysts that launched the French Revolution. Not to mention what could have happened if France had not turned into a democracy. It takes one to know one’s country and then help to improve the problems.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Runaway Princess by Valerie Anne Hudson takes you to the small fictitious country of Limolou where Princess Louise-Marie had just run away at the age of nine. She is the most unlikely heir, though second in line, to run a country. But this one act of bravery changes her view of the people she is destined to serve; she sees the oppression they face with so little food, the clean water is not free, and they're overly taxed. Getting caught takes her back to her bubble of excess and greed. Torn between royal duties and the truth beyond her walls, Louise-Marie makes a bold move. Has she done enough to spare the lives of her family, friends and have peace with her decision?

I found Runaway Princess fascinating as Valerie Anne Hudson paints a vivid picture of the spoils of royalty. You can anticipate the twists in this short novel, but the outcome far exceeds your expectations. The small act of trying to run away opened the young princess's eyes to many injustices. The author skillfully draws the reader into the life of Louise-Marie and keeps you fascinated until the unexpected ending. This book is a captivating tale that blends fantasy, romance, and historical fiction into an enjoyable diversion. I read this in one sitting; I could not put it down. Louise-Marie faces the revolt of the people, blind ignorance of her family, and a killer within the castle walls. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical fantasy.