Based in alternate-history fjord regions of Quebec, Canada, during the 1820s. Barely a Princess is a social narrative that follows the life of Princess Anika of the kingdom of Bergendelle. A moderately sized kingdom with a long-ruling royal family descended from Norsemen explorers who colonized North America between 1000-1100 AD. However, their kingdom has a dark past based in wickedness and war. In the day that the book takes place, Bergendelle has become a superpower in the new world and consists of land belonging to modern-day Quebec, Ontario, and New York.
Princess Anika was born December 29th, 1803, and is the sixth born in the royal family. She is a spirited, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-dress princess. When she sets her mind on something, she puts her whole heart into it and is determined to get it done. Her willful personality would always create difficulties between her and her mother when she was a child.
She had a troublesome childhood and was kept apart from her older sisters. Her friends were limited, and servants were swiftly dismissed when they messed up or got too close. When opportunities to make friends presented themselves, her mother, Queen Wilhelmina, would try to force her to play with the boys. But their rough and tough nature was always a point of distress, and Anika would normally run crying to her mother.
Her eldest sister, Elizabeth, who was being groomed as heir presumptive, disagreed with this treatment and secretly became a much-needed friend. Anika couldn’t understand the reasons for her troubles and assumed she must have been a bad child. Mother tried to occupy her wild imagination and limitless energy with fencing and hunting lessons. She grew up known as the princess who partook in princely hobbies.
At the age of fifteen, she felt subconscious about her looks and constantly compared herself to other girls. She felt like she had no hips and her shoulders were too broad. She assumed she wasn’t imagining it since this was a point of mocking by her sisters Rosalie, Evelien, and Cornelia.
She was your typical princess who saught love and wanted more than her boring life until one fateful night. After an argument with her mother, she fled the castle and was ambushed by imps. Her father came riding in with the cavalry and used a strange magic that turned the imps into stone. But just when Anika thought the danger was past, her father fell deathly ill from the effects of the magic. That’s when Anika learned about the curse—the curse and its magic had been passed down in her family through the male bloodline. The next day, she sets out for the realm of the gnomes to break the curse, reverse the damage she’s done, and save her family once and for all.
Anika’s life is now at risk and she must discover who she is and how her story fits into the greater story of her family and her kingdom. Along the way, she learns about injustices around gender, class, and race. She also learns that prince charming is not perfect and it is your own responsibility to fix your problems—no one owes you anything. She also discovers she need not find her self-worth in others but that also family is still family no matter what. She is soon faced with a choice, does she revolt or accept her new life.
Warning; Barely a Princess deals with adult themes and scenes of suicide. Please seek help through the Suicide Prevention Hotline if you or someone you love is struggling with suicide.
Expected Release Date: 2019