Book Review: The Princess Pact by Melanie Cellier
Under the rigid protocol enforced by the Northelman government, the dutiful Princess Marie longs for something to shake up the fatally boring atmosphere of court. Of course, she very quickly learns to be careful of what she wishes for. Apparently, there’s some sort of rebellion against the monarchy stirring amongst the youth of the country.
A young foreigner named Rafe is in the company of the refugees who report to the king after being pushed out of their town by the rebels. To express gratitude toward his host family — whose children have joined the so-called rebellion — Rafe offers to go undercover in the rebellion camp and report his findings to the king. The crown prince — Marie’s older brother, William — is eager to go with him, but sullenly admits it would be too dangeorus. However, he later can’t be found, leaving Marie sure he’s followed Rafe into danger.
Marie hardly intends to go dashing after them herself until she learns that she has a connection with the leader of the rebel army, a connection that renders everything else in her life false. Heartbroken and confused, Marie believes the only way to discover the truth is to meet this rebel leader. Unsure who to trust, Marie must decide where her true alliance lies.
Having always been an unconventional princess, Marie is a bit insecure about her looks and her place in the hearts of her people. It’s not surprising considering the common perception of her is that she’s just not as transcendently gorgeous as a princess should be. However, Marie has always tried her best to fight against her insecurities. She puts her efforts into being compassionate, diplomatic, and thoughtful. Marie believes herself into beauty, using the love of her friends to bolster her self-confidence.
Additionally, Marie realizes that having placed so much importance on her diplomatic abilities has left her vulnerable to physical attack. Although Marie ends up in the rebel camp for a variety of reasons, she also takes it as an opportunity to gain more experience with weapons. She manages, despite her tutor, Rafe, being exceptionally distracting.
Marie also needs to explore her connection with the rebel leader. She tries her best to objectively evaluate whether and how to deepen their relationship without betraying her own morals or previous relationships. Overall, I really like Marie as a character and I think her journey of self-discovery was engaging with a satisfying ending.
3 stars! Recommended for anyone who strives to be their best despite insecurities.
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