Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

Published by Penguin

WITH the recent announcement of the fifth and final instalment of The Rosewood Chronicles, Princess Ever After, coming out in February of 2022, now is the perfect time to go back to where it began.

Though revisiting this delightfully charming series is always a pleasure it is not a purely selfish endeavour for it’s important to introduce these novels to a new group of those aged eight to 12 with a love for all things fairy tales and beautiful boarding schools.

This is an accessible and fast-paced read with elements of magic that can only be described as perfectly fitting for the setting and memorable characters that will make you want to read more, and fortunately you can.

The fourth in the series, Princess at Heart only came out in February this year and with only three months to wait for the next and last, there is plenty content waiting for any reader diving into the world of Rosewood for the first time.

We first meet Lottie Pumpkin, filled with excitement and anxiety in anticipation for her first day at the prestigious boarding school Rosewood Hall. Lottie is an instantly relatable character, steeling herself for this new experience with the words of her late mother “be kind, be brave, be unstoppable”.

These are the words that stuck with me through this book and are the kind that in their consistent use, set a positive example of resilience, something that is vital young people develop.

Upon her arrival rumours begin to spread that she is the deeply private young princess of Maradova said to be secretly attending the school. This puzzles her as, despite her love for fairytales and all things to do with princesses, Lottie is nothing of the kind, and in fact, was only able to attend Rosewood with the help of a scholarship.

She soon discovers the identity of the real princess, her stubborn and rebellious roommate Ellie. The two strike up a friendship despite their differences, with Lottie’s bright optimism and tendency to some naivety in contrast with Ellie’s hesitancy to trust and secrecy.

With Ellie’s need to escape all the expectations that come with royalty, and the already spiralling rumours about Lottie the two come to a deal. The position of Portman is one that has been used with the monarchy of Maradova for centuries, and one that Lottie now, with the help of Ellie’s friend and Partizan (bodyguard), must train to do.

This entails pretending to be the Princess of Maradova in public for the protection and privacy for the true princess.

Her new position quickly becomes all too real the girls begin to receive threatening messages and must piece together clues to work out where they’ve come from.

Lottie and Ellie are unforgettable characters who set an example for friendship, resilience and compassion applicable beyond Rosewood Hall and its fairytale beauty and into real life.