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Literature / The Ordinary Princess

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Yep, she's not "pretty".

The Ordinary Princess is a Fairy Tale novel written by M.M. Kaye.

The story starts when the birth of Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne is announced. The princess is going to be the seventh child born to King Hudlebrand and Queen Rodehesia, and everyone knows that the seventh child is always the nicest, most beautiful, kindest and all around best child to be born. Fairies are invited to her Christening, and the all give her gifts. Except of course, for beauty, as she is the seventh child and already beautiful.

Then comes in the fairy Crustacea who's old and grumpy, and decides to give the princess the gift/curse of being "ordinary".

As Princess Amy (Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne is not the name for someone so ordinary), she likes to do ordinary things, much to the despair of her parents. By the time she is of marriageable age, she is quite un-Princess-like, and no one wants to marry her. Her parents decide that they will hire a dragon, and whoever beats the dragon has to marry Amy.

Amy doesn't like this plan, and so she decides to run away from home.

Eventually Amy ends up working as a scullery maid in a kingdom far far away, where she meets Peregrine, and shares illicit ice cream with him. Of course, Peregrine is hiding a secret of his own...

This story was the Inspiration for the Work for a Dark Horse published comic book, called Extraordinary A Story Of An Ordinary Princess in 2019 by Cassie Anderson, which was an expansion of her webcomic, An Ordinary Princess.

This work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Amy's full real name, "Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne".
  • Blessed with Suck: This is how everyone views the "gift" of being ordinary that is bestowed on Amy — except for Amy herself.
  • Compound Title: The four chapters are: Lavender's Blue, Rosemary's Green, When You Are King, I Shall Be Queen, which is a condensed and slightly altered version of the nursery rhyme, "Lavender's Blue", as the version listed on Wikipedia with the latter two lines uses "Lavender's green" instead of "Rosemary", and the version that has "Rosemary's green" does not have the latter two lines. The poem also appears on the back cover as:
    Lavender's blue
    Rosemary's green—
    When you are King
    I shall be Queen
  • Cursed with Awesome: In contrast to everyone other than Crustacea, Amy's perfectly happy being ordinary; her only complaint about it is that it causes difficulty for her parents.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Peregrine, whose first name is Algernon. Can't blame him for choosing to call himself Peregrine, especially since he implies that Peregrine is the best of his eight names.
  • Faint in Shock: When Amy runs away, her letter causes her two ladies-in-waiting it to scream and/or faint, leaving only one standing to deliver the letter to the king and queen, then cry.
  • Family Theme Naming: All seven royal daughters are named for jewels: Diamond, Opal, Emerald, Sapphire, Crystal, Pearl, and Amethyst.
  • Heir Club for Men: All children born to a King of Phantasmarania are girls. Each King's next in line for the throne is his eldest daughter's youngest son.
  • King Incognito: Twice over. Amy becomes a princess incognito when she runs away from home, and Peregrine the "man-of-all-work" turns out to be King Algernon.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Multiple:
    • The seven princesses, who are presumably all born a year after the previous, as they each at least had plans to be married, yearly for seven years, presumably right when they came of age.
    • Also, at Amy and Perry's wedding, Crustacea blesses them with the promise that they will have "four gallant sons and two darling daughters".
  • Odd Name Out: Pearl, and Crystal, in different ways. Pearls are an organic gem, unlike the others, and Crystal is another name for a gem, instead of being a kind of gem, unlike their sisters, Diamond, Opal, Emerald, Sapphire, and Amethyst.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Amethyst isn't the type of name you give to someone who's "ordinary", so it's just "Amy".
  • Overly Long Name: Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne. King Algernon has eight names, but we don't know what the six others are.
  • Princess in Rags: As the title implies; the main character works as a scullery maid after running away from home.
  • Princess Protagonist: The protagonist is "Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne", the Ordinary Princess of the Protagonist Title, who is usually called "Amy".
  • Protagonist Title: The titular Princess Protagonist, who's life is chronicled from birth to marriage.
  • Purity Sue: Parodied and played with In-Universe. Princesses and Princes are expected to be like this, with the exception of Amy and Perry who make fun of them, saying they are rather uninteresting and humorless.
  • Real Name as an Alias: Who would expect a princess to be called "Amy", anyway? King Algernon has eight names and "Peregrine" is indeed one of them.
  • RevengeSVP: Mentioned as the cause of a Sleeping Beauty Shout-Out of a Faux Death, sleep-for-100-years curse:
    "But Your Majesty forgets," put in the Prime Minister, "that the unfortunate episode you refer to was due to gross neglect and carelessness. History tells us that an influential fairy was not invited. But on this occasion I, personally, will take the greatest possible care that no such calamity occurs again." And the Prime Minister tried to look very un-careless indeed.
  • Rule of Seven: The titular character is a seventh child and her full name has seven words. Her name is Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne.
  • Shout-Out: Sleeping Beauty was basically King Hulderbrand's great-great-great-grandmother:
    King Hulderbrand: You may have forgotten what happened to my great-great-great-grandmother, but I have not. Had to sleep for a hundred years, poor girl, and the entire court with her, and all because of some silly fairy-business at the christening.
  • Single Sex Offspring: For unstated reasons, but presumably because of magic, the Phantasmoranian royal family only births girls. This means the heir apparent is the youngest son of the king's eldest daughter.
  • Standard Hero Reward: The catalyst for Amy deciding to leave home is when she learns her parents intend to hire a dragon to terrorize the land, wait for some Knight in Shining Armor to inevitably kill the poor thing, and essentially forcing him to take Amy as his bride.
  • Youthful Freckles: Amy develops these; they're considered a failing because princesses are supposed to have flawless china skin. In fact, any princess going out in the sun must be carefully monitored lest they burn or blemish.