I enjoyed How to Find a Princess. Alyssa Cole is such a good writer that even the parts I struggled with were really good. In fact, the anxiety and frustration I felt about Bez and Makeda was largely because of how real Cole made them to me. I think some people are going to find How to Find a Princess a challenge to get into, and it definitely benefits from a second read. Once I was comfortable with the story, I could appreciate how Bez and Makeda’s relationship developed with much less of the anxiety I experienced on the first read. And once they got on the boat and pretended to be married, the book hit it’s stride.
I adored Beznaria Chetchevaliere in How to Catch a Queen, and was excited to get her romance. Makeda Hicks is a worthy love interest for her. Bez is a delight, but sometimes she was also stressful. I think she’s the first “too much” character that really felt like the people I know and love who are “too much.” I wouldn’t want Bez to be any less, or any different. I was frustrated with her and for her because she was given so many opportunities to be honest and vulnerable with Makeda, and she deflected instead. But once she did let herself be vulnerable, it as delicious.
Makeda feels like she has been weak and allowed herself to be walked on. As Bez comes storming into her life, she is deciding to be stronger and better at saying no. It helps that she doesn’t want what Bez is offering. I love that it she doesn’t learn that she is stronger than she thinks from Bez, but Bez reinforces what Makeda is learning about herself.
As a life long difficult person, I have an affinity for the difficult characters. Bez does lie to Makeda, both to get her own way and also because the situation is slipping out of her control and she doesn’t want to worry Makeda. I related to Bez so much – the hideous mix of good intentions and not wanting to look bad. I adored the compassionate way that they dealt with each other’s insecurities and vulnerabilities. Bez and Makeda earned my whole heart by the end of the book. They danced so awkwardly around each other I wanted to smack them, but they got where they needed to be in the way they needed to get there.
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.