woman closing her eyes on white flower

Synopsis of The Princess Game

The Princess Game is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. She may be called the sleeping princess but Celeste is wide awake. Everyone in the kingdom believes that her mind was put to sleep on her sixteenth birthday but appearances can be deceiving. And she has to keep it a secret.

After learning to keep her secret for years she has become good at deceiving others and misdirecting their attention. Hiding in the shadows is the only way to truly be herself so she invented Aurora the spymaster. Her efforts as Aurora have helped keep her family and kingdom safe, but a new problem is coming. One that she can’t overcome on her own. She has to win the help of a clever handsome prince while keeping her identity a secret and saving the kingdom. Oh and figure out a way to break the curse too.

With so much to do on her mind, the last thing Celeste will be thinking about is sleep.

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First Impressions

woman closing her eyes on white flower

The Princess Game is book 5 of The Four Kingdoms Series by Melanie Cellier. This book is amazing! I am so glad that I continued with this series. I loved all the action, adventure, and intelligence work happening. Melanie Cellier thought out of the box on how to make the curse different and new. The curse is almost another character in The Princess Game because of what Celeste does to get around it. I am a huge fan of the dry witty comments Celeste uses throughout the book. Personally, she means a lot of them sarcastically but outwardly everyone just thinks she is dumb or a ditz. This is definitely one of my favorites from the series. The Princess Game is a clean romance and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book or part of the series.

The Princess Game Parent Guide

Overall: PG for a few action sequences
Violence: PG a few fights but no gore and very quick
Language: G None
Adult Content: PG a true loves kiss
Reading Level: Grades 7-12

Touchy Topics in The Princess Game

black and white sailboat in body of water during sunset
  • Forgiveness: Celeste learns how to forgive and what it truly means
  • Grudges: Celeste holds a grudge against her aunt who cursed her for many years and it sometimes blinds her to the truth.
  • Betrayal: Surprise someone betrays our little band of heroes.
  • Double life: Celeste and others in the book live a double life and have to come to terms with lying to those around them and how divisive two lives can be.
  • Love: The way out of the curse is true love’s kiss, but Celeste struggles to find someone who truly loves all of her if they don’t know all of her.

Quotes

Fear of permanent disablement and pain was a convincing motivation to ensure no-one ever discovered the true name of the mysterious spymaster, code-named Aurora.

Melanie Cellier, The Princess Game

His quiet whisper was for my ears alone. “What? Doesn’t everyone already do whatever you ask? I thought you had us all under your spell.”

Melanie Cellier, The Princess Game

It didn’t matter if she deserved the hatred, because I was the one being consumed by it.

Melanie Cellier, The Princess Game

My Thoughts about The Princess Game

man and woman hugging near sea during golden hour

When I started writing this review I flipped through the book to find a few good quotes. Instead, I got swept up in the story and reread the entire thing. This is definitely one of my favorites in this series because of its clever plot. How cool is it that Sleeping Beauty is actually awake but everyone thinks that she is dumb?! However, inside she is intelligent but because of the curse, she can’t show her intelligence.

I love seeing how Celeste changes and progresses throughout the story. I love seeing the inner struggle Celeste goes through. Everything she has always thought is called into question and she has to reconcile new information with her old beliefs. Ultimately, the best part is seeing Celeste essentially free herself from the curse before her true love kiss. The kiss is important, but the lesson she learns allows the curse to be broken.

Just go read the book already because it is great! You do not need to read all the books in order, however, there are a few spoilers, like who ends up with whom. This book is great for teens and young adults but I think advanced elementary school readers would also enjoy it. The Princess Game has all the important parts to a story. It has action, a light-hearted romance, and a great adventure.

What to Read Next?

If you like this book check out the next book The Princess Search where Celeste’s older brother Fredric finds love in a most unexpected place. The Princess Search is the last book in this series. However, if you want more there is another series called Beyond The Four Kingdoms with some of the younger princesses from the original series.

Other series to read include the Hagenheim series by Melanie Dickerson and The Princesses of Westfalin Series by Jessica Day George. The Princess Spy is one of the Hagenheim books by Melanie Dickerson. Another great resource is this post full of clean romance novels.

Happy Reading!
Emily