School is starting, August is melting all of us southern folks, the political world is absolutely horrible, and you need a GREAT distraction. So, of course, I’m going to recommend some royal reads.
Because if there’s anything that can distract you from the mess that is 21st century problems, it’s royal problems.
Enemies to lovers? Dead parents? Rebellions? Privilege and colonialism and religious conflicts??? All my favorite and not so favorite tropes? Chosen ones but make them royal? ALL OF THAT can be found mixed in with a bunch of royalty. because we love mess, right?
The Royal Diaries
now, these books were my original favorite royal reads. I read Marie Antoinette’s diary WAY too many times. Actually, i just wanted to look like that book cover.
Apparently, there are twenty of these books. But my favorites were always Victoria’s, Anastasia’s and Marie Antoinette’s.
Of course, these diaries are works of fiction. But each of these royal’s stories are taken directly from history. Which includes lot of drama, intrigue, young love, and tragedy. Very fun.
While these books border on middle grade fiction, they are some of my favorite royal reads.
I mean, these books are basically the primer to falling in love with royalty.
The Dead Queens Club
Okay, a retelling of Henry the 8th and his Six Wives? Set in high school? YES, PLEASE.
But instead of the king of england, we have the king and queen of prom. It has petty moments, just like Tudor England. And murder plots, just like Tudor England. And badass gals, just like Tudor England.
So, if you’re a fan of snarky retellings that do right by history and give agency to diverse, strong female characters, The Dead Queen’s Club is a perfect read.
Red, White and Royal Blue
If you’ve been watching any book news or book fans in 2019, I can’t imagine that you haven’t heard of Red, White and Royal Blue. It’s been everywhere and for good reason.
It’s just hilariously good with the PERFECT blend of politics, romance and all the royal drama.
also is any book recommendation post I write in 2019 complete without me recommending this book? probably not.
A Star System? Hidden identities? Colonialism and brutal militaries and court politics? ALSO ROMANCE???
And if I’m not gushing enough, just look at that cover. Simply stunning. Mirage is a really fun and easy read with just enough intrigue, royalty and romance to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole read. Also, it ends on a horrible, no good, very bad cliffhanger, and i need to read the next book RIGHT NOW.
The Conqueror’s Saga
Oh, a gender-swapped Vlad the Impaler retelling??? YASSSS. This is one of my favorite ideas, ever, and I think this series is just masterfully done.
I love the soft romance between Radu and Cyprian though you kind of need to read two other books before the best soft romance in history starts to happen. BUT IT’S WORTH IT.
Also, the Turkish Empire is terrifying and I feel like every character in this story is only a page turn away from death at ANY time. Great reading.
The Star Touched Queen
When you think of royalty, you think of Hades and Persephone, right? Maybe, I don’t know you.
But the Star Touched Queen is fantastic because not only is a blend of Indian mythology alongside a Hades and Persephone retelling, it’s simply mystical.
Also, besides the mystical mysteries, there’s a slow burn romance. Big fan!
Added to all that, this whole book reads like poetry and kind of made Roshani Chokshi an automatic read for me, because I simply adore her writing style.
The Selection Series
You’ve probably heard of the Bachelor. (And the absolute badassery that is Hannah B who took over the internet this summer)
Anyway, the Bachelor meets Royalty in the Selection series.
Granted, I’ve only read the first and third book and it’s NOT my favorite. but a lot of other people seem to like these books. SO! If you like mostly silly drama with lots of decadent royals and sappy romance, this is the series for you.
Also, those covers? Some of the PRETTIEST!
The Priory of the Orange Tree
Oh my goodness, do you want a GIGANTIC book of royal intrigue and courtly plots? AND DRAGONS??? I mean, don’t say no! Because of course you want this kind of read.
I’m going to call this a feminist game of thrones. As in, it’s heavy plot wise, and has DRAGONS, and lots of mythology worked into the story and is hecka long. Like 800 pages long.
But for a lush royal read, the 800 pages of The Priory of the Orange Tree is totally worth it. 1000% recommend.
I think talking about dark books with characters on the verge of execution is par for the course when it comes to royal reads. And Ash Princess fits that bill in every detail.
Yes, Ash Princess is dark and brutal, but it’s also gripping. I want these characters and their plots to win and overthrow the evil Kaiser. And I want to protect the prince and his brooding conscience. Okay, I know this book has a lot of tropes but I’m a sucker for a good trope. Including evil king’s and their guilt ridden heirs.
But really, we all know that most people with terrible parents don’t feel bad for their privilege. otherwise, systematic racism wouldn’t be such a thing. SO! That’s my main complaint with books like this.
I just don’t see kids who grow up in privilege and racism suddenly realizing that their parents are bad and wanting to do justice. and I’m not a cynic, maybe just a realist. also, i know too much about history. cue all the royal sons who were worse than their dads.
My Lady Jane
Okay, I’m a fan of historical humor and twists on history. And My Lady Jane totally fits into that idea. Imagine Tudor England and the tragedy of Lady Jane Gray but retold as some sort of magical comedy.
okay, that sounds ridiculous. (And it kind of is?) but that’s what makes it so funny. You know as you’re reading ti, that everything in this book is IMPOSSIBLE. but the fanciful storytelling and very british humor is just a romping read.
Royal Reads I Want to Read that the Internet Seems to Love
why are there so many more books that I need to read. *existential crisis*
But seriously, I might complain that I’ll never have time to read ALL these books but i’m a sucker for royal tropes so yes, please keep writing and publishing these books.
And yes, I’ll keep adding them to my goodreads TBR. And I’ll probably keep plotting books and projects with royals. Because something about messy royalty is incredibly addicting storytelling.
Are you a fan of royal reads? What’s your favorite royal books? Do you hae a favorite messy royal family from history you love to read about in books or watch in movies? (ahem, yes, the tudors, always the most dramatic and entertaining, thanks Henry the 8th for being the king of petty drama)
Any books not on my list you recommend?