The Princess Companion: A Retelling of the Princess and the Pea is the first book of The Four Kingdoms Series by Melanie Cellier.
Cold and hungry as she tries to find her way out of the woods, Alyssa knocks on the door of the Winter Castle for temporary refuge for the night. Alyssa is a woodcutter’s daughter who intends to find a job in Arcadie, the capital of the Kingdom of Arcadia. Instead, the king hired her to be a companion to his energetic twin daughters, Princess Lily and Princess Sophie. Being a Royal Princess Companion, Alyssa is not considered a servant nor is she considered a guest in the Winter Castle. Either way, Alyssa wins the hearts of the members of the royal family as well as those of the servants.
As the summer approaches, however, Alyssa is undecided whether to go through her plans to find work in Arcadie or remain as a Princess Companion and watch as the king and queen find a suitable bride for Prince Maximillian.
I love this book and needless to say, I enjoy it immensely. It is a charming story of a smart and brave girl who finds her place among the royals, the nobles and the servants. The author created admirable and endearing characters. Alyssa, though she has a low tolerance for physical pain, has a sharp mind and a loving heart in addition to her natural beauty. Max is the promising prince, willing to learn, willing to work hard and willing to do anything for everyone and everything important to him.
The book not only features grand balls and exquisite princesses but also treason, espionage and deception. It keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end.
Congratulations to Melanie Cellier on such a lovely book!