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Rogue Princess: 02/25/20
Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers is described as a gender swapped Cinderella. At it's most basic, it is, but it's so much more. And it's going to really difficult to say just how much more without spoiling things. I don't want to do that.
Princess Delia and her mother have welcomed suitors from all the nearby kingdoms. Delia is to pick the man who offers the best package for her country. This isn't about love, this is about survival.
Meanwhile, Aiden works in the palace kitchen and has been supplementing his income by stealing things. He makes the mistake of swiping a sword from one of the visiting princes and ends up having to flee for his life. Next thing he knows, he's on a shuttle being flown by Princess Delia, who has decided she needs a break from all these would be suitors.
With Aiden essentially acting as a thief and living in the slums near the palace, the Cinderella tale takes on an Aladdin vibe. Except there isn't a djinn. Everything Aiden manages to do, everyone he manages to persuade, he does on his own merits. That includes, convincing Delia that he is actually her bodyguard.
But Rogue Princess isn't just a retelling of a fairytale. Nor is it just a mashup of a couple of fairytales. The next layer of the novel's influence is a mix of Philip K. Dick and Carlo Collodi. How those two are combined is revealed through the novel's placement on the road narrative spectrum.
The travelers in this novel are Delia and Aiden. By their relationship alone it's clear that they are a minotaur and scarecrow (99) pairing. Delia is trapped by circumstances and duty to the crown and her country, thus metaphorically making her a minotaur. Aiden wants to protect her, metaphorically making him a scarecrow. But sometimes in these narratives minotaurs and scarecrows are also literal characters.
The destination for Delia is a place where she can find a way of saving her country without an outside suitor. Aiden needs to find a way of saving himself from the crippling headaches that are threatening to kill him. Both of these solutions exist in the wildlands (99).
The route they take is the maze (CC). There is the political maze of the suitors. There is the programatic maze of the SHEW. There is also the maze of tunnels out in the wildlands. All of them are part of the journey Delia and Aiden take.
All together the unconventional romance of Delia and Aiden is constructed as the journey of a minotaur and scarecrow to the wildlands via the maze.