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Wide-Awake Princess Books In Order

Publication Order of Wide-Awake Princess Books

The Wide-Awake Princess (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unlocking the Spell aka The Princess's Promise (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bravest Princess (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Princess in Disguise (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Princess Between Worlds (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Princess and the Pearl (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Wide-Awake Princess is a series of fairy tale novels by popular American author E.D Baker. While Baker is one of the most prolific writers in the genre, the Wide-Awake Princess series of novels is one of her most popular. She published the first novel in the series, The Wide-Awake Princess in 2010, and over the next 6 years, she published 6 more titles. Unlike the typical Princess story, The Wide-Awake series is a narrative told from the perspective of Sleeping Beauty without the magic powers. Annie, Sleeping Beauty’s sister plays chief protagonist on a quest to find love and to break magical spells placed upon her family and friends. Traveling to exotic and far-flung kingdoms, Annie who is impervious to magic or curses stars as the heroine in freeing princes from animal bodies, protecting her friends from evil forces, and the kingdom from external aggression. In his usual humorous and witty style, Baker writes a series of novels that are full of enchantment and fun, that are sure to entertain children and young adults alike. The Wide-Awake series of novels is so different from other fantasy novels in that its draw seems to be its insistence that even persons who seemingly have no power to change things can sometimes do just that.

E.D. Baker is one of the very first authors to put a spin on the Sleeping Beauty fantasy novels by making the lead character not a sleeping princess. Princess Annie does not have the magical powers that Gwendolyn her sister or other princesses and princes in other kingdoms have. The lack of the mystical powers not only makes her look ordinary, but also makes her impervious to spells and curses. However, the lack of magical powers turns out to be a curse and a blessing. For instance, when a cursed spinning wheel pricks her sister Gwendolyn’s finger, the entire castle is sent into a deep sleep except for Annie. With the kingdom at its most vulnerable, the curse becomes a blessing given that an awake Annie can work out ways of breaking the curse. Our protagonist is an intelligent, kind and an admirable alternative to the usual flawless princess fantasy that most authors serve up. While she was not born with the beautiful looks and magical powers of a princess, over the series, she develops a skill set and personality that make it possible for her to navigate a wide variety of situations and gain favor. While always reminded that she does not fit the princess ideal, she finds it easy to stir up love and admiration from persons who value her for herself rather than the physical attributes. Her quest also sees her have a lot of humorous fun that is normally reserved for the more beautiful members of the royal family.

The Wide-Awake Princess series of novels make use of a clever subversion of classic fairy tales such as Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel, among others to make for unique stories. The narratives are full of fun, romance, action, and adventure. For Baker all of these fun highs are the right of not only the highborn and the beautiful, but also of the normal and ordinary looking girls. Through Annie the chief protagonist, the novels push the narrative that self-esteem is more than your physical beauty and that heroism is possible for everyone regardless of gender. The Wide-Awake series pushes the theme of good personhood, resourcefulness, and autonomy over being beautiful or pretty all of which are epitomized by the protagonist and her adventures. For instance, the courageous Annie is involved in many instances of rescuing a prince or a kingdom as opposed to being rescued herself as a princess normally would. While still full of gender stereotypes, beautiful princesses, and handsome princes, the series asks the reader to examine your presumptions right from the start.

The first novel and one of the most popular in the Wide-Awake Princess Series is The Wide-Awake Princess published in 2010. The novel introduces Princess Annie, Sleeping Beauty’s younger sister who lacks the magical powers of her sister. When Gwendolyn who is destined to become Sleeping Beauty accidentally pricks herself on a cursed loom sending the whole castle into a deep sleep, it is Annie who is left awake to try to save her family from their fate. Given that she is impervious to any kind of magic spell she is the only one that could successfully go out of the castle walls, find Sleeping Beauty’s one true love, and get him to kiss her awake. However, finding Gwen’s true love is not as easy as it first seems, given Annie’s inexperience with the world outside the castle. She now has to choose between the manipulative Clarence, whose motives seem too sinister to be construed as true love, Prince Andreas the happy go lucky young man who intends to find a bride through a contest he organized and lastly, Digby, the most obnoxious of the three. But luckily she finds help from the unlikeliest strokes of fortune. Liam one of the guards in the castle had been out when everybody succumbed to the evil spell, readily agrees to help Annie. Traveling through fantasy lands that have characters similar to those found in the classic princess novels and a smattering of new ones, she is determined to undo the spell on her family and her sister and maybe even find her own true love.

The second novel in the Wide-Awake Princess Series, Unlocking the Spell is another excellent novel by E.D. Baker. After Princess Annie had successfully helped her family and sister Sleeping Beauty come out of their 100 year old sleeping curse by getting her prince, she now wants to sit back and enjoy her life. But things are never that simple as six days later Beldegard, Gwen’s beloved prince is trapped inside a bear’s body. Annie is once again tasked with reuniting the two lovebirds by finding the evil dwarf that cast the spell. Annie has the help of the indefatigable Liam, and Beldegard Gwen’s lover in addition to the many tricks she had picked up on her first quest. The plot thickens when Gwen, who Annie had expressly forbidden from joining the quest, escapes from the castle and follows them further complicating things. However, Princess Annie continues to use her wit and a range of tricks to solve a wide range of problems they encounter on the way and at their destination.

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