I think the term “feisty” tends to be code for “stupidly impulsive.” Maybe your take on that is different, but that’s my impression. Therefore, when I see a post like this one at Book Riot, Five of the Best YA Fantasy Books with Feisty Princesses , I flinch a little.
I haven’t read any of the books they select, btw. The thing is, there are SO MANY YA books with feisty everything, it’s impossible to keep up.
Let me see, of those five …
Worst title: The Princess Will Save You
Wow, that is a terrible title. Why insert the reader into the title like that? How can that even work? It sounds like a choose-your-own-adventure book, not like a novel. How do you all feel about it? Thumbs up or thumbs down for this title?
The one here that looks most interesting to me is Decendant of the Crane. This one has a Chinese setting and a pretty good description …
Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. … Hesina turns to Akira―a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?
Still, the “feisty” part is probably a translation of this bit of the descritpion: “eager to shirk responsibility.” I hate that in a princess. I greatly prefer responsible princesses.
Let me see. Tamora Pierce has a lot of good YA protagonists, some of them princesses, who are determined and/or responsible rather than feisty. Not sure how many hit the intersection of princess + non-feisty, but probably some.
Sherwood Smith’s A Posse of Princesses offers a pretty wide selection of princesses, mostly difficult to describe as “feisty.” The actual protagonist might fit that term, I suppose.
Jessica Day George gives us some excellent princesses in her fairy tale retellings, like Princess at the Midnight Ball.
One of the best, especially after she matures, is Princess Cimorene from Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest stories, starting with Dealing with Dragons.
And, of course, I specifically wrote Kehera, way back when I wrote the first version of this story, as a response to irresponsible, feisty princesses who run off and desert their people. She stayed responsible, thoughtful, and (relatively) calm right through the revision as the original trilogy got sliced, diced, and turned into two standalone novels.