Reign Like Victoria

In the new historical drama series "Victoria" on PBS, Queen Victoria is eighteen years old when she comes to the throne. What if a story like hers took place in a fantasy kingdom or an alternate historical timeline? Here are a selection of young adult novels featuring a young princess facing challenges and dangers as well as adjusting to the responsibilities of being a reigning Queen. Copies are available to check out and download from the library.

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
In the final novel of the Seven Realms series, the new Queen Raisa ana'Marianna now sits on the Grey Wolf Throne. Her friend Han Alister, a former street lord known as Cuffs, is a young wizard developing his powers. It is an uneasy time in the Queendom of the Fells, and there are many who would take advantage of the turmoil. One day Han discovers a secret believed to be lost to history, and the two friends work against time to protect the Fells. This is a fantastic and well-written series! Of interest, Raisa and Han are featured in Flamecaster, which was published in 2016.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Princess Lorelai and her brother Leo have been in hiding since their stepmother Queen Irina killed their father and took over the kingdom of Ravenspire. In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, Prince Kol, who can shape-shift into a dragon, is seeking help after his family is killed in an ogre invasion. Queen Irina offers to help Kol for a price. When Kol encounters Lorelai, he has second thoughts and decides to help her. Inspired by the tale of Snow White and the Huntsman, this fairy tale story combines adventure and fantasy as Lorelai fights to regain her lost kingdom.

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary Pearson
After a dangerous escape, Princess Lia of Morrighan is hurrying home. There is an invasion from an enemy kingdom, and she needs to rally her father's troops. When Lia arrives, she discovers her father is ill and no one is allowed to see him. Prince Rafe of Dalbreck, who escaped with Lia, learns that his father is dead and becomes the new king. Besides protecting their kingdoms, Lia and Rafe must deal with their feelings for each other. The novel is the final installment in the "Remnant Chronicles" trilogy.

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa De la Cruz
In this historical fantasy novel, Princess Dauphine Marie-Victoria is heiress to the throne of the Franco-British Empire and is engaged to marry Crown Prince Leopold of Prussia. The Princess's childhood friend Aelwyn Myrrdd, a young mage, is sent to help her. However, Marie-Victoria doesn't want to marry Leopold - she's interested in someone else. While the London season is underway, Marie-Victoria makes a fateful decision, and it has the potential to endanger the monarchy.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand et al.
Lady Jane Grey is best known for being Queen for nine days in British history. What if her story ended differently? As the novel opens in 1553, King Edward VI is dying from a mysterious illness. To secure the succession, his advisor, the Duke of Northumberland, persuades the King that his favorite cousin Lady Jane Grey marry his youngest son Gifford Dudley. What the Duke doesn't tell is that Gifford is a horse during the day and a young man at night.  Preferring books over romance, Lady Jane Grey marries Gifford. It's up to the young couple and their allies to find out what is causing Edward VI's illness and to keep England safe. The novel is a fun mix of real (and alternate) history, intrigue, magic, and adventure.

If you'd like to read about Victoria's life before she became Queen, check out Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl.