This Why I Love Wednesday is all about favorite characters. Now, I really couldn’t choose just one. Both of these ladies have been my heroines since seventh grade when I first discovered their stories.
I’ll start with Ce’Nedra from The Belgariad and The Mallorean series. I loved her from the first time she was introduced. She’s a fiery redhead (with a temper to match!) who can wrap her daddy around her little finger. She’s an Imperial Princess, the only child of the Emperor. She’s also part dryad. Her father tries to force her to go to another country to honor an ancient treaty—so she runs away. Unfortunately for her, she ends up with people who make her go honor the treaty anyway (which she is definitely not happy about). Now, I know this is making her sound horrible, but she’s really not. When the man she’s supposed to marry has to sneak off for a dangerous mission, she takes over the war council (after she throws a huge temper tantrum) and convinces the kings on the council to let her lead an army against the enemy countries. Ce’Nedra shows absolute genius as they gather people from various ally countries. She even bribes her own father’s troops to follow her. In the second part of the series (The Mallorean), her only child is kidnapped and she and her husband (along with several relatives and friends) tear the world apart looking for him. I honestly don’t know how she held up during all of this. If I were her, I would have done the same thing, but I don’t know if I would have handled it as well as she did.
Now onto Keely from The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. She’s the youngest of four children and she’s the only girl. Her mother’s a complete nutcase who tried to hand her children over to an evil sorcerer when they were babies—but only the boys. To say Keely has mommy issues doesn’t even begin to describe it. She’s also the only princess in her land, unless you count her half-sister (most people don’t). She’s been engaged to a man she’s never met since before she was born and she has no desire to ever meet him, let alone marry him. She’s definitely not a typical girly-girl princess. She wears hunting leathers, she can fight with a sword or a knife and she could probably drink any man under the table. She also has special abilities. She can communicate with animals and take on their shapes—something only the men of her people could do. When she’s kidnapped by the same evil sorcerer that her mother had previously tried to give her brothers to, she doesn’t cower and wait for someone to rescue her—she gets herself the heck out of there (granted, with a little help from another prisoner). I won’t share my favorite scene of the book because it gives too much away, but let’s just say she has a very interesting way of dealing with choosing between two men. I have to admit, her eventual grandson is probably my favorite male fictional character. I might talk about him more on a different day.
So there you go: two awesome, non-traditional princesses. I like them for their attitudes, their ability to deal with some of the worst things that could happen to a person (or character) and come out of it sane. It’s not just that they’re princesses, but deep down, doesn’t every little girl want to be a princess?