Most young girls dream of becoming a princess and living in a palace with a prince. Most of what girls think about royal life is a fairy tale set in a Cinderella style of happily ever after. Real life is much different. Many royal weddings are arranged duty to country, family, and the will of the king or queen. A prince often does not choose his bride. Lori Wick’s novel, The Princess, is the story of an arranged royal marriage.

In the mythical land of Pendaran, Shelby Parker, a Christian, meets Toby Newbury at a banquet. Toby, a friend of the royal family, has been commissioned by the family to find a second wife for the prince. According to Pedaranian custom the monarch must marry by age 26. Prince Nikolai had married Yvette in his early 20’s. However, tragically a few years into the marriage she died. Her death devastated him. As he approached 26, he went to the king and queen and asked them to find him a wife.

Shelby and Nikolai decide to take a leap of faith and agree to marry in a Rebekah and Isaac style. According to Genesis 24 Isaac and Rebekah never met before their arranged marriage. Shelby and Nikolai do not meet or even speak to one another before the wedding.

After the wedding, the prince and princess retire to their separate chambers. It is clear Nikolai is still grieving and in love with his first wife. Shelby becomes engaged in her royal duties. On the outside everything looks perfect, but inside the palace Shelby and Nikolai are not spending time together. Shelby often feels that she is giving more then her fair share and is trying to be the perfect princess and wife. In her first few weeks at the palace she does not even see the prince. Nikolai wants nothing to do with her and even packs his schedule to prevent getting to know her. However, the entire palace and royal family are captivated by Shelby’s peaceful presence and the prince can no longer resist her. He finds himself clearing his schedule in order to become closer to her.

There is still one problem. He likes Shelby but is still in love with his first wife. The prince must learn that he does not need to get over Yvette, but he must make room in his heart for Shelby. Will the prince ever be able to tell Shelby that he loves her?

Shelby is trying her best to honor God and her country by marrying the prince. She often has to deal with the emotional side of the Prince Nikolai who would rather stay in love with Yvette. Shelby fears to even think her name or talk about her because it may upset the prince. Over time Shelby realizes the prince is starting to notice her and she becomes less shy in his presence. She continues to place her relationship in the hands of God who eventually brings her to realize that she can trust the prince with all her heart.

By the end of the book it is clear that both Nikolai and Shelby placed God at the center of their relationship and both were blessed. The couple realizes how much they love God and each other. This book is good for grades 10 to adult. It reminds Christians that God needs to be at the center of a relationship and ultimately the center of a marriage. The novel has 294 pages.

Kristina O’Brien is a mother of twin girls, an avid reader, and credentialed teacher. She has taught both middle school and high school history. She is currently a stay-at-home mom and enjoys raising her two girls.

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