Pigsty Princess by Nancy S. Brandt tells the tale of a princess, Mariana, who lives in Valborough, a land where magical powers—Elemental Sensitives—are everything to the nobility. The law of the land states that the person with the strongest Sensitivities rules. But, unlike the rest of her siblings, Mariana has no magical powers. She is “Insensitive”. Since only commoners have no powers, when Mariana is of marriageable age, none of the young noblemen will marry her. Her parents are fine with this. They don’t want her to marry any of the young noblemen for then she might find out the truth.
Mariana is spoiled as one might expect from a princess. Because of this, I had a hard time connecting to her in the beginning. However, as the story progressed, and her world crumbled around her, she evolved into someone more relatable and likable. There were still flashes of that snobbishness from the beginning, but this made her growth more believable. It took her a while to outgrow her “flaws” and actually see her snobbery.
Orlando is a dreamy hero. The Robinhood of Valborough and the bastard son of a nobleman, he has renounced his highbrow heritage. At one time, he was a soldier who fought for the crown. This experience opened his eyes and set him on a crash course with the king. He’s also a Sensitive.
As one may expect, when the two come together, there’s a bit of… drama, which eventually concludes with an HEA…my favorite kind.
The only thing that distracted me were the multiple points of view, some from minor characters. But this is fantasy, and fantasy novels often have several viewpoints.
However, magic, romance, intrigue, and fantasy do make for an entertaining story.