I love Magdalena Hai (=Shark)! Her short story collection Smelly Hand was extraordinarily surprising and the Beggar Princess is just beautiful. This is an unorthodox MG novel with a strong girl MC and her best friend boy, both with well-rounded characters and a story line that just sweeps you along to the adventure. The steampunk flavour is just the cherry on top of it all!

Beggar Princess / Kerjäläisprinsessa Magdalena Hai

Author: Magdalena Hai
Publisher: Karisto 2012
 MG Fiction
Original language: Finnish
Rating: 4/5

Gigi is a real princess, on exile, after a coup in her old home country Umbrovia. She’s living in the harbour town of Keloburg, inhabited by merchants, pirates and smugglers. Her family; father, mother and three sisters, have had a rough time adjusting to life on the low side instead of the royal elegance at home. But Gigi is helped by her best friend Henri, to pull through the dark times and make the most of the life in the new town.

One day Gigi and Henri rush to see a hot air balloon take off at a town park and Gigi finds a note clearly written by the rebels of the old home country. Have they been exposed? When she speeds back to home to warn others with Henri, she realizes that there’s so much she doesn’t know. Like the King’s guards consisting of a group of werewolves

Magdalena Hai has combined adventure, steampunk, werewolves, pirates and smugglers and a little bit of Oliver Twist in her heart-warming tale of a girl, who takes action even in the most unexpected situations. Gigi is a girl with her fears and anxieties like any of us, but she is also something more and braver than most.

This is a start of a trilogy and I’ll be diving in to the next part as soon as possible!