The Runaway Princess

Kate Coombs

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

“A dragon darkens our dells. A witch haunts our woods. Bandits roam our moors” . . . King Stromgard swept on. “In the tradition of so many monarchs, I offer my daughter’s hand in marriage and half my kingdom to the prince who can rid us of these evils, restoring peace and prosperity to our realm.”
And so the contest in the Kingdom of Greeve begins. But Princess Margaret is not your traditional princess. Meg firmly objects to her parents’ giving her away, and she certainly has no intention of remaining in the tower where she is sequestered. Instead, she sets out to win the contest herself by enlisting the help of her good friend, her loyal maid, an eager guardsman, a young wizard, and a tenacious witch. Does Meg find her distinct place in the kingdom, or is she doomed to fulfill her royal duties?
Kate Coombs weaves a magical tale full of pesky princes, enchanted frogs, a beady-eyed scarf, and invisibility juice – a tale of wonder, but a story familiar to all who struggle to find their own place in the world. The Runaway Princess is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.


Read an Excerpt

The Runaway Princess
1MEG RAN ALONG A NARROW PATH TOWARD THE pond that lay hidden in the tall meadow grass northeast of the castle like a duckweed-colored button. Cam, the gardener's boy, came after her, having finished his weeding. Meg could hear frogs hitting the water and ducks scolding away into the rushes as they approached. When they reached the pond, they slowed and moved more quietly, crouching beside the water on opposite sides to catch tadpoles.Cam scooped swiftly, then lifted his hands. "Got one!" he crowed, showing Meg the prisoner cupped in his palms.Meg went him one better. She


Praise for The Runaway Princess

"A delicious princess romp.  Witty and tart and funny."  --Kirkus Reviews
"Delightfully devious.  Never predictable and frequently hilarious, this is an excellent addition to the bookshelves of Patricia C. Wrede fans."  --The Horn Book
"A pleasurable read with amusing details and witty twists."  --School Library Journal
"Coombs . . . has created another strong heroine who eschews the trappings of her birth in the pursuit of truth, justice, and adventure."  --Booklist
"This clever debut novel features a spunky and likeable heroine in Meg.  Engaging."  --VOYA
"Reminiscent of Shrek and Once Upon a Mattress, this pleasingly twisty tale offers rib-tickling surprises around every corner."  --Publishers Weekly

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Runaway Princess

Kate Coombs

American Library Association Notable Children's Books, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Maine Student Book Award Master List, GA Picture Storybook Award ML, Louisiana YR Choice Book Award Master List