The Beggar Princess

Reading material

Full English manuscript
Finnish edition

Original title: Kerjäläisprinsessa

Published: 2012

Publisher: Karisto

Class/genre: Young Adults

Pages: 188


Winner of the Kirjava Kettu Prize 2014
Nominee for the Lasten Lukuvarkaus Prize 2013

The 11-year-old rag collector Gigi was born a princess. After her father lost his crown in a violent uprising, the royal family of Umbrovia has been forced to live in hiding in a busy harbor town. But then one day Gigi and her best friend Henry learn that someone knows their secret, their home is attacked and her mother is taken away. Together with her loving but unpractical father, and the grumpy but kind werewolf Mussovits, they must do their best to save their family.

The Beggar Princess is the first installment in the trilogy Gigi & Henry, which follows the main characters lives from pre-teens to adulthood. The story is set in an alternative history of the 1860s and it mixes fast-paced, julesvernesque adventure story with inventive alternate history.

The Beggar Princess is a novel about the meaning of having a family. Above all, however, it’s a shamelessly imaginative treat for friends of peculiar adventures of all ages.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

The Beggar Princess continues the long tradition of children’s adventure novels. The resourceful 10-year-old protagonists encounter pirates and werewolves, sail as stowaways and save human lives. There are lots of Gyro Gearloose kind of inventions […] Hai writes compellingly and maintains the tension. Don’t be put off by the name of the book, for The Beggar Princess is no baby pink princess tale. There are no conservative ties between the gender and the behavior. Gigi is the most active and lovable adventurer princess imaginable.” – Aamulehti newspaper, Finland

Magdalena Hai

Magdalena Hai is a lover of cross genre fiction and all things strange, and her fiction often combines elements of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Besides writing Hai teaches writing and is an active member and editor in the publishing co-operative Osuuskumma.


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