Once a Princess by Sherwood Smith

Our Score

Once a Princess by Sherwood Smith is an epic adventure fantasy with magic and swords, pirates and princesses, and a conniving villain.  It is appropriate for ages 12 and up.


Many people on Goodreads dinged this books as a cliff-hanger, but that is not the author’s fault. Blame the publisher, instead, for trying to wring every groat from a story they could easily sell as two books. You must plan to read the second part of the story in Twice a Prince, the second book in the “series,” Sasharia en Garde!

This so-called series is set in the beloved world of Crown Duel, one of my all-time favorite books. While this story is much lighter fare, it still sweeps you along.


This is a fun book with lots of clever conversation.

Politics reign. If you like political intrigue, scheming villains, and even craftier heroes, this is the book for you.

Pirates and princesses.

Also, this is a clean story that doesn’t revolve is light on romance.


Sometimes, I wished for a grittier, harder-hitting plot. However, it is entertaining, and that’s great for a rainy day.

It has a silly cover, but who doesn’t love a heroine who loves books?

Personal Thoughts

Plan to read both books: Once a Princess and Twice a Prince Duh. I know, it should go without saying, but readers should know what they are getting into when they start the first book. And raspberries to the publisher that artificially separated two parts of one story.

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Kathrese McKee
Kathrese McKee writes YA epic adventure fantasy for anyone who enjoys pirates and princesses combined with life’s difficult questions. She is an author, speaker, teacher, and editor. Visit her at www.kathresemckee.com.

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