Review: The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake – Lynn E. O’Connacht

The Princess who didn't eat cake.jpg
Book cover: The princess sits on a horse. Entire illustration is sketched in purple.

Once upon a time there lived a princess…

When the kingdom discovers that their crown princess doesn’t like cake, chaos ensues. How will the royal line ever continue? Cake is essential to a good marriage! (Not to mention, the rejection of his cake was deeply insulting to the baker-prince who proposed with it.)

…and the stableboy who loved her…

The princess befriends a stableboy. She’s oblivious to the fact that he’s in love with her. The stableboy does his best to explain to the princess what is so wonderful about cake, but it takes an arduous journey to convince her to try a slice.

…in a kingdom that didn’t want to understand…

The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake is a demisexual fairy tale. It aims to introduce people to the concept of demisexuality and to offer a rough idea of how the world may be experienced by people identifying on the asexual spectrum. It offers both the titular fairy tale, a brief essay explaining what demisexuality is in more detail and a short list of books featuring demisexual characters for anyone who would like to see more representation in fiction.

I decided to buy The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake, since I was in the mood for a fairytale. This is a literary fairytale that explains what demisexuality is through a story. It’s ownvoices.

I recommend reading the What is demisexuality? section, which comes after the fairytale as it discusses the story in detail and describes the reason behind some of the symbolism, which I certainly didn’t pick up during the first read. This part can be read both after or before reading, however reading it before the fairytale will allow you to pick up on small details and I think it’ll make your reading experience even better.

It’s a wonderful story. The characters are well-written and well-rounded, which I was quite surprised about, since this is a short story. I thought the comparisons were well-done (they were not that obvious, but not that abstract) and they were excellent metaphors for everyday situations.

This fairytale doesn’t only explain what demisexuality is through a cake metaphor but also other sexualities, such as homosexuality and bisexuality. Thus I also see it as a fun resource that educators and parents could use for children, since there are still way too little children books that have queer characters. It also mentions the pressure to have sex or be in a relationship, which I think is an interesting point to talk about consent and that you don’t have to do something, because everyone else is doing that something.

The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake is a wonderful fairytale. I thought it did an excellent job of explaining what demisexuality is. It’s perfect for people who want to be read about a character who is demisexual as they themselves are, and also for people who don’t know anything about this sexual orientation and want to learn more. Due to the writing style, it’s also appropriate for children.

5 stars

Have you read The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake? Do you have any recommendations for other literary fairytales that explain lesser known sexual/romantic/sensual/aesthetic orientations? I’d love to read more.



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