Once Upon A Time and A Kingdom Far Away,
is how every tale begins and how it will stay.
Stories of honor, battle and conquest,
courtiers who scheme and who fight to be best.
Some fight for kingdoms and some fight for love,
Some lose with class and some with a shove.
There is magic, wands, fairies and spells,
so they better be good or they’ll be put into cells.
Heroes, Heroines and Villians fill these pages,
Some perform on thrones, and some on stages.
This is about those who are fierce and most loyal,
this showcases simply:
Ball Gowns & Royals
Amber Sky (C.O.I.L.S. of Copper and Brass, Book 1) by Claire Warner
Amber Sky is a fantastic way to start off this Ball Gowns & Royals post! A title that is less-known by the book community to my utter astonishment, and one that is a whirlwind of a read! In this story the nobility control everything from food to resources, which leaves many poor and dying in the mines. Our main character Tay is forced to beg for help from a noble named Darius after her father is arrested, and in return she makes a dangerous deal. Tay is thrust into the palace of courtiers and lies, whilst all the while fighting for the rebellion.
Think badass female spy in a ball gown.
Enchantée by Gita Trelease
If you have joined the obsession that is Enchantée, or you haven’t, allow me to overindulge you.
This is a BEAUTIFUL Fantasy/Historical Romance set in Paris right before the French Revolution. If you have a Marie Antoinette obsession, a Versailles obsession, or you are looking to get obsessed: read this now!
It is about a girl named Camille who begins to use la magie (magic) to turn cards at Versailles in order to bring in money for her and her sister. It goes through the repercussions of her decisions, the beauty and vile nature of the courtiers in Versailles, and even has some romance and the occasional hot air balloon.
Glitter and Shatter by Aprilynne Pike
Just like Enchantée, these two books are set in Versailles and have the same decadent yet vile vibe. Danica is forced to go to court by her mother, a place she loathes, and is eventually forced into the despicable young Kings hands by her mother, who is nothing but a social climber. Danica wants a way out, and that way is buy selling Glitter, an addicting drug in the form of makeup, to every courtier in the palace.
This series gets quite dark and gritty, and there is PLENTY of deviousness to go around. Danica is definitely the courtier dressed in black and up to no good.
Kiss of the Royal (Book 1) by Lindsey Duga
It’s like any other Disney fairy-tale, Princesses and Princes kissing.
Except this one has a comical and BRILLIANT spin!
In Kiss of the Royal the Princesses are who save the Princes. They follow the princes into battle, and wait on the sides until their prince is injured so they can rush to him and give him a healing kiss.
But Ivy isn’t okay with being a dainty Princess on the sidelines, as she shouldn’t be!
This girl gets RIGHT into the action to fight off evil, and eventually ends up on a long quest with a mysterious Prince from another land.
This book is ACTION-PACKED and VERY funny.
The Lone City Series by Amy Ewing
Look, if you guys are tired of me talking about this series….I get it…
But I also don’t give a s**t.
THIS SERIES GIVES ME BREATH!
Or takes it away. It’s a tough call.
It’s a Handmaid’s Tale vibe for the YA book world. Less devastating, but equally f****d.
Extravagant mansions, nobility dripping in diamonds and throwing away money like it’s an apple core, and the ever-casual slavery and forced surrogacy.
OoOoOoOo…sounds fun, right?!
The Carnelian Legacy series by Cheryl Koevet
I have only read book one in this series, so I guess that proves just how behind in books I am!
This series is about a girl who is thrust into an alternate dimension where there are nobles, horses, battles and a few magical creatures. It’s a YA romance with our main character Marisa being the epicenter of turmoil and a possible full-out war in Carnelian.
I thoroughly enjoyed book 1, so I plan on reading the final two books….eventually.
The Frost Chronicles by E. Latimer
I requested Frost from Netgalley before its release date, and then tried to get Flame, but was cruelly DE-NIED.
Anyways, I mentioned Frost in my Winter Reads post not too long ago, so naturally I’m bringing it up again. It’s a YA Fantasy set in a world where Fire and Frost Giants are at war with each other. Our main character is forced to choose a side to fight with, but naturally gets to be decked out in a few fabulous dresses first.
The Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking
Another series from my Winter Reads post, and absolutely one worth mentioning again!
The Kanin Chronicles promises readers another fierce and badass female lead who wants nothing more to compete next to the “big boys” as a member of the King’s elite guard. When a former lover of our heroine begins kidnapping changelings, she is forced to travel to surrounding kingdoms in order to keep a war from breaking out.
This is an annual reread for me, so that HAS to tell you how good it is. Not only that, but it’s set in a snowy kingdom! What’s not to love?!
Roseblood by A.G. Howard
Roseblood was a HUGELY anticipated release in 2017, and after reading, I knew exactly why.
It is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera that is set in the aftermath of this well-known romance. Rune is sent to a prestigious French arts conservatory in an opera house for her singing. She soon meets a boy named Thorn who is both secretive and entrancing. So begins a whirlwind romance doused in sweetness and sadness.
This book will satisfy that musical craving you didn’t know you wanted, while also serving you a little taste of finery and class.
The Blood Rose Rebellion series by Rosalyn Eves
With only having read book 1 in this series, I can still tell you with full confidence that these books are a MUST for your TBR list.
Our story starts out with our leading lady, Anna, making a s**tstorm of her sister’s debutante ball by accidentally breaking her sister’s “coming-out-in-society” spell. In this world, magic is what makes you rise in the ranks in society, and to her family’s dismay, Anna is barren. Or…so they thought.
Blood Rose Rebellion tracks Anna as she is exiled to Hungary and learns the truth of the magic wielders, the Luminate. It is a story of oppression and rebellion, so put on those glass slippers and jump in!
The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
I know I keep talking about this series, but it’s the perfect Ball Gown and Royalty story!
Kestrel is forced to choose between joining her fathers military or get married. She comes across a young slave boy up for auction, makes the rash decision to buy him, and so ensues a tale of romance and rebellion. This story was FANTASTIC and has an old-timey feel to it.
I mean, there’s nothing better than a female who rocks a dress and then fights in battle.
The Selection series by Kiera Cass
Probably the MOST royal set of books on this list!
These books are a dress addiction waiting to happen, so tread carefully you fashion slaves!
The Selection is your typical story of a prince finding his princess through a televised competition. It’s a literal fight for the crown, and naturally a few skirts will be torn and punches will fly ❤
The Ash Princess Trilogy by Laura Sebastian
If you want to talk about a fierce Princess, let’s talk about Theodosia.
The poor girl has had her kingdom ripped out from under her, her mother’s throat slit in front of her, and is now the mascot in her own castle to the Kaiser who conquered her lands. She is paraded around at balls with people who despise her race, and forced to wear a crown of ash to show that she is a princess of nothing.
And yet, I CANNOT wait to read Lady Smoke!
The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black
*Sigh*…let’s start this exactly how I start every conversation that involves these books. Shall we?
THIS SERIES IS DEVASTATION!
DO NOT read this if you’d rather not have a cursing episode of anguish after finishing The Wicked King.
Because you WILL fall into a coma of DESPAIR and REGRET and I won’t be able to pull you out because I’M ALREADY IN IT!
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
A TRUE MASTERPIECE AND FLAWLESS STORY!
I LOVE A Face Like Glass. And when I say LOVE, I mean I’m die-hard psychotic for it.
This world, is WILD. Expressions do not exist in the city of Caverna, so the rich pay “Facesmiths” to be taught how to show a facial movement like sadness or excitement. For Neverfell, she has a face so terrifying that she has worn a mask since she was a young child. But when she is shown that her face can make expressions on its own, she is thrust into turmoil.
The book is insane and CRAZY addicting. The “high society” is ravenous, extreme and makes the people in the Capital of The Hunger Games look like men in boring suits!
Don’t think. Just buy!
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
A book I have not had the pleasure of reading yet, but one I have on my list!
The premise is exactly what it sounds like, a tale of royal bastards. Tilla is the daughter of a Lord who cast her aside after he was gifted with “trueborn” children. Only wishing to be accepted as a royal and to wear beautiful dresses, Tilla and the other bastards are shunned by their peers.
It promises rebellion, action and romance…so it’s an obvious MUST for me!
Coiled by H.L. Burke
Another retelling…and another book I haven’t read.
This one is a twist on Eros and Pysche (if you know of it) and is about a Princess who is made bait for a serpent by command of her parents. She soon meets a Prince who has a curse of turning those who look at him into a serpent, and fights to free him.
It looks positively PRECIOUS!
The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell
And this one is based off your favorite man in tights…
…except this Robin Hood is a female. WOO!
Sylvie runs away to the forest with her friend in order to help the poor survive the abuse her brother inflicts on them. It sounds like a classic tale of rebellion and fighting for justice!
Now, for the upcoming releases:
The Blood Heir Trilogy by Amélie Wen Zhao
This series looks like it is going to be AMAZING!!
It is a story about a world where affinities are detested and a Princess who fights to keep her liking for blood a secret. But when her father is murdered and her yearning for blood is shown, she is framed and said to be the culprit.
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
IT’S A RETELLING EXTRAVAGANZA!
A twist on the fairy-tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, of a family that is cursed by the Gods.
After four of her eleven sisters mysteriously die, Annaleigh suspects that the deaths were something more sinister than just an accident. She finds that her sisters have been sneaking off to nightly balls where they dance and dance for hours, and soon meets the mysterious stranger they are dancing with.
Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter
That cover though, am I right?!
It’s a tale of the scary kind of fairies who entrap and seduce you, so get ready! If you’re needing a cure for you Cruel Prince and Wicked King hangover, maybe this will help. I know I’m willing to try anything at this point, and this cover and premise just hooked me!
The Bloodleaf series by Crystal Smith
Bloodleaf is about a princess and a marriage arranged at birth to a Prince in another kingdom. Aurelia fights between doing what is expected of her and what she wants, which is the typical princess tale…is it not?
Well this one sounds a WHOLE lot more in depth and exciting, so I am ready to get it started!
That is THAT for the Ball Gowns and Royals!
Was it as magical for you as it was for me?
I love hearing what you guys think, so let me know if you have read any of these or if you found some new ones for your growing TBR lists!
Until next time my magical witchlings!!!