The Bravest Princess: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess, Book 3

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
The Bravest Princess: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess, Book 3 Book Poster Image
More adventure, romance as Annie and Liam help Snow White.

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

Positive Messages

The Bravest Princess has positive messages about autonomy, resourcefulness, integrity, and friendship, especially for girls who are expected to be pretty or passive. It also offers healthy messages about true love and harmony in relationships, with a focus on how to determine character.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Annie is a headstrong, resourceful princess who risks danger to help others and always keeps her word. She builds her identity around her abilities and character, not her looks. However, she also is respectful and understanding of other female characters in the book whose roles have dictated that their looks matter most. Although some characters are good or bad or the opposite of what they seem, main characters are loyal, kind, intelligent, and virtuous, while still on occasion having realistic shortcomings.


The Bravest Princess has minor peril but very little bloodshed or real injury. In one scene, a princess faces danger from a smoking flower placed in her hair. In others, guards shoot arrows at crows. In another, a girl is attacked by crows who scratch and bloody her arms. A bridge collapses, sending horses and people into the river below, but all survive. Wolves endanger a group of people but do not harm them. Lightning strikes a tree. Vines emerge from the ground to to entangle men. A man and a teen girl are trapped in a castle that slowly fills with water, but they escape.


A teen boy and a girl kiss on several occasions and occasionally embrace.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bravest Princess is the third book in the Wide-Awake Princess series by E.D. Baker. With a headstrong, courageous princess protagonist, this installment upholds the series' unique challenge to typical princess fare by focusing on resourcefulness, autonomy, skill-building, and wits over looks or passivity. Here, Princess Annabelle rescues and is rescued, risks life and limb to protect those around her, and demonstrates that princesses need not sit on the sidelines. Though questions of looks and beauty are inevitable, readers are encouraged to sort out what real beauty is and how important it is in the grand scheme of things.

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What's the story?

Annie's good friend Snow White is in trouble. She needs help selecting a prince to help rule her kingdom now that her evil stepmother has been banished from the castle. But as Annie makes the journey with Liam and prepares for sister Gwendolyn's wedding, there are threats from all sides, this time from a witch who's learned how to work around the fact that Annie is unaffected by magic. Can she help Snow White find true love while protecting herself from the evil witch Terobella?

Is it any good?

THE BRAVEST PRINCESS amps up the action and adventure, with Annie and Liam facing danger and excitement (and some very innocent romance) around every corner. What makes this third installment a nice detour from the previous books is the way Annie and Liam negotiate their relationship -- they have different skills, and each wants to save the other, but they must learn how to let each other's strengths work for the team. Furthermore, Annie learns to help a friend sort out another big existential question: What is true love really about, especially when people aren't always what they seem? How do we determine a person's true character? 

Fans of the series will find more of Liam but a lot more of Annie charging into the action and testing her mettle, and, for parents who are hesitant about princess books, here's one that will introduce nuance and character to what is so often a disappointing genre. Though the question of looks is unavoidable in the subject matter -- who has them, who had them, who lost them, who found them -- here, readers are still challenged to unpack assumptions about "real" beauty and its ultimate significance compared with character.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of true love. What does Annie help Snow White realize about what true love means? How does this compare with other depictions of princesses and true love?

  • How does The Bravest Princess compare with the previous two books in the Wide-Awake Princess series? How is it different from typical princess stories?


  • How do Annie and Liam work out who gets to save whom? Does their relationship seem equal to you?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love brave princesses and other strong female characters

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