As she closed the door, she caught a glimpse of herself in the full-length mirror and saw a young lady where a little girl had always been.
Crown Princess Melania Abigail Alice Grace, Maagy, as she is called, is thirteen years old and is willful, spoiled, and tempestuous. She insists on having her own way, no matter what! If anyone argues, she either sulks or has a temper tantrum. Her aging father, King Henry, is at his wit’s end and knows he must take drastic action soon for the good of his kingdom.
He takes her to the Summer Castle in hopes the caretakers, an elderly couple called Grandpa Kris and Grandma Polly, who some consider to be enchanters, will teach her kindness, patience, humility and resourcefulness. As Maagy explores the enormous estate, she meets some odd and interesting people and uncovers delightful mysteries. Slowly but surely, the impetuous princess becomes wiser and more responsible. Along the way, her adventurous nature and insatiable curiosity lead her in and out of trouble, as her life changes dramatically in ways she could never have imagined.
In this fairytale for middle readers, one spoiled princess learns how to be a better leader and begins her journey toward maturity and the crown.
... She had washed up and dressing, while pondering the gravity of her future, when she heard strange noises coming from the fireplace. She leaned into it and listened. It was the faint sound of crying coming from Estelí’s room through the shared chimney. Maagy went even closer and realized it must be her friend in anguish on the other side. She rang the bell cord. The chambermaid tapped on the door and Maagy was ready to welcome her.“I need some help with my hair, if you have the time,” she said, nonchalantly.“Of course, Your Highness,” the girl responded, not looking up and discretely wiping her eyes with her apron. “I always have time for you.”“Estelí, what is the matter? Why are you crying?”“I am not crying, Your Grace. I have dust in my eyes.”“That’s nonsense and you know it. I heard you crying on the other side of the wall. I demand you tell me now, and truthfully, what has made you cry,” she said as she folded her arms and took an authoritative stance. “I am still your Crown Princess and, as such, I demand honesty. I am also your friend and I want to help, if I can.”“Thank you, but it is nothing… silly, really. I do appreciate your concern.”“If it’s nothing then tell me what it is.”“No… really… it is not necessary…”“Let me be the judge of that. Now, why were you crying?”“Your Highness, I…”“Tell me!” She demanded, stomping her foot.“I was assisting on the third floor… one of the girls is ill… and I was cleaning the room of the son of one of the Darhambian chieftains when he walked into the room. We are not allowed to be present with anyone of the opposite gender while working. So I excused myself, quickly, and was about to leave, but the room was not finished and the bed was not yet made. He demanded I finish and make his bed. I told him I was not allowed to be there with him and I would come back and finish later. He demanded again and, when I respectfully declined to break the house rule, he picked up a crystal paperweight from the desk and threw it at me. It smashed against the wall and glass flew everywhere. He said now I could clean up that mess, too, when I returned. I ran to my room and did not know what to do next. I cannot lose this position, Madam. Ma mère* is ill and I care for her with the money I make here. I am so sorry to cause such an incident.”“You poor dear. You didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, you did exactly what you should have done and you need not apologize.”“I should have done as he told me and finished the room. No one would have been any the wiser for my breaking the rules… and the paperweight would not have been broken… and I would not have cried… and upset you.”“Stop right there! First of all, you would have known you broke the rule and would have carried the burden of it. Second, you handled the situation precisely according to protocol and did absolutely nothing wrong. Third, the fault for this sits squarely on the boy’s shoulders. He is the one who was rude and even violent. I shall take care of this and you will not lose your position because of it. What would I do if you were gone?”“Oh, Maagy… Your Highness… I am so sorry for the trouble… really. Just let it lay. I do not want you to be inconvenienced.”“Look here, I’ve had a huge wake-up, today. I’m going to be the queen in a few years. I’ll have much more than this to deal with soon enough. I can handle this small problem.”Maagy knew immediately it was Owanu Obuku who had committed the offense. She marched up the stairs to the third floor and knocked loudly on his door. He opened it with a sour look on his face and it didn’t get better. “Are you Owanu Obuku?”“I am.”“I am Princess Melania Abigail Alice Grace, Duchess of Wentworth, Crown Princess of Berensenia and the Commonwealth of Realms. Might I have a word with you please?”“I know who you are. You may come in,” he said as he stepped aside and gestured.“Our protocol dictates unmarried young women and young men are not allowed in a bedchamber together without chaperons present,” she stated firmly, but respectfully. “Since there are none, I would appreciate your stepping into the hallway.”“I’m resting,” he said indifferently. “I’d be more comfortable sitting in my room than standing in the hall.”“Be that as it may, I must insist you come out here. I wish to speak to you concerning this same protocol or… rather… your breach of it,” she said deliberately, with her hands on her hips.“Excuse me?” He responded indignantly*, as he stepped out of his room to confront her.She was not the least bit intimidated… even though he was several inches taller and much heavier than she… and stood her ground, looking up at him. She spoke calmly, but was positively seething inside.“My chambermaid, Estelí Barrineau, was the young woman at whom you threw a crystal paperweight. I don’t appreciate your treating our staff with disrespect. She was only following the rules, which you demanded she break.” “I don’t appreciate you treating me with disrespect! I am the son of a tribal chieftain!”“And I am the daughter of a king! That has nothing to do with this discussion. You owe her an apology.” “I owe no one anything. She disobeyed my command. She is but a lowly servant girl, so what do you care and why are you involved at all?” “We do not consider our staff to be servants. They are paid a fair wage by the Commonwealth, and as such, deserve respect… and your regrets for your rudeness.”“You are just a female. I do not have to listen to you.”He tried to step into his room and shut the door in her face, but she reached out and pushed the door further open. “I say you do! This is my home and you’ve disrespected our staff and therefore me. So you will hear this!” “This is not your home. You do not even live here. You are visiting.” “As are you! It is my summer home; therefore, my home and you are a guest in it. You should have better manners!” “Your ‘staff’… as you put it… should have better manners and so should you!”“You arrogant, obnoxious brat! Don’t you dare speak to me that way! And do not ever speak to anyone who lives or works here with disrespect again… or… I’ll tell my father… and he will… invade your kingdom!”She whirled round and stomped downstairs to her room and slammed the door. Estelí was still there waiting for her.“That boorish brute! I cannot believe his behavior! How can he be so discourteous?”“Oh no! Mon dieu*! I knew it! I knew this could not end well. I am so sorry, Your Grace.”“It’s not for you to be sorry about anything. He’s the offender. Oh dear, look at the time. I have five minutes. Can you do something with my hair, Friend?” … Later that evening, King Henry called Maagy into his room and shut the door.“What is this about words between you and the son of Chief Obuku?”“You heard about that?”“I did. Would you care to explain?”
Virginia Burton Stringer has been an actor, director, and teacher of theatre art for forty years. Her experiences while raising two daughters and now watching her son raise his daughters served as the inspiration for Maagy. A published playwright, she lives with Bill, her husband of thirty-four years, in St. Petersburg, Florida.