Princess Ben

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Princess Ben Book Poster Image
Bewitching tale with a refreshingly real heroine.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Misunderstandings and naughty behavior occur, but those involved eventually realize the error of their ways. The characters experience substantial growth and evolution.


Historical violence with swordfights and the death of three people. An adult whacks a teen's hands with a rod. A person is kicked and yelled at while imprisoned.


A girl searches for suitable suitors, two teens kiss, and two weddings occur.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

People drink wine, as was common in the novel's setting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is romance and some historical violence in this novel. More importantly the novel deals with body image, societal pressures, magic, and parental death. None of the violence is graphic and the author approaches parental death with sensitivity.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 and 15-year-old Written bylady of the library March 11, 2010

Fairy tale fun

This was on our "young adult" list, but I don't know why as I found nothing objectionable. It was slow starting, but I ended up enjoying it. Th... Continue reading
Parent of an infant, 2, and 7-year-old Written byPaaru September 17, 2009

Great for girls of any age

I thought this book was fantastic. An enjoyable fantasy novel and coming of age story, the main character is strong, yet easy to identify with and matures a lot... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKristeeni September 17, 2011

Great Read!

I think this is a great book and didnt really find anything extremely negative about.
Generally, it doesnt deal with too much of the heavy stuff. There is some... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bynewmillenium January 8, 2011

A clever find for readers of all ages

I loved this book! It felt like a classic fairy tale with modern attitude. The main character isn't perfect and her flaws are very relatable. She is a gre... Continue reading

What's the story?

Princess Ben was a plump and content princess with a wonderful family that kept her shielded from the royal court. When her parents and the king die mysteriously, Ben is at the mercy of her aunt, Queen Sophia, and the invading army of a neighboring kingdom.

Is it any good?

Catherine Murdock joins the ranks of writers who seek to reinvent the fairytale genre with wit, fun, and a dash of feminism. Indeed, Princess Ben is a real girl's princess; she sulks, gets angry, has no time for the foolishness of Queen Sophia's "lessons," and is far from the willowy thin princesses of other stories (the girl likes her treacle tart). She holds her own destiny in her hands, and her evolution from sheltered, indulged child to selfless, proactive ruler gives this tale a modern edge.

Beyond the fantastic heroine, there are so many adventures, surprises, and plot twists that readers won't be able to put the book down. If they can get past the sometimes overly flowery language, readers and parents alike will love Ben's story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how difficult it is to change your opinion of someone, particularly from bad to good. Ben's opinion of Queen Sophia was negatively influenced by her mother. Have you ever had another person's influence affect your thoughts about someone?

Book details

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