A stunning portrait of an African princess raised in Queen Victoria’s court and adapting to life in Victorian England—based on the real-life story of a recently rediscovered historical figure, Sarah Forbes Bonetta.
With a brilliant mind and a fierce will to survive, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a kidnapped African princess, is rescued from enslavement at seven years old and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift.” To the Queen, the girl is an exotic trophy to be trotted out for the entertainment of the royal court and to showcase Victoria’s magnanimity. Sarah charms most of the people she meets, even those who would cast her aside. Her keen intelligence and her aptitude for languages and musical composition helps Sarah navigate the Victorian era as an outsider given insider privileges.
But embedded in Sarah’s past is her destiny. Haunted by visions of destruction and decapitations, she desperately seeks a place, a home she will never run from, never fear, a refuge from nightmares and memories of death.
From West Africa to Windsor Castle to Sierra Leone, to St. James's Palace, and the Lagos Colony, Sarah juggles the power and pitfalls of a royal upbringing as she battles racism and systematic oppression on her way to living a life worthy of a Yoruba princess.
Based on the real life of Queen Victoria’s Black goddaughter, Sarah Forbes Bonetta’s story is a sweeping saga of an African princess in Victorian England and West Africa, as she searches for a home, family, love, and identity.
Denny S. Bryce is an award-winning and bestselling author of historical fiction, including Wild Women and the Blues. She is also an adjunct professor in the MFA program at Drexel University, a book critic for NPR, and a member of the Historical Novel Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Tall Poppy Writers. Currently, she resides in Savannah, Georgia.
“The Other Princess is a poignant intimate portrait of the extraordinary life of Sarah Forbes Bonetta. Bryce’s sweeping novel is brimming with richly detailed history as she transports readers throughout Victorian England and West Africa in this unforgettable story. This is a must-read for historical fiction lovers!” — Chanel Cleeton, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author of The Cuban Heiress
“Intricately researched and written with vivid detail, The Other Princess is a powerful, sweeping saga of resilience, of a young princess ripped from all she knows and thrust into a world not of her choosing. A must read!”
— Eliza Knight, USA Today and international bestselling author of Starring Adele Astaire
"In The Other Princess, Denny S. Bryce brings to life the little-known story of Aina, the daughter of a chieftain in West Africa, who later becomes Queen Victoria's goddaughter, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a real historical figure new to me. Engrossing, unique, The Other Princess vividly depicts Aina's intelligence and love for music and Western literature, as well as her destiny and dilemma as a black princess in a Victorian court. A stunning saga of tragedies, trials, and triumphs, this is a remarkably told story of a remarkable woman!"
— Weina Dai Randel, Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of The Last Rose of Shanghai and Night Angels
"The Other Princess by Denny S. Bryce is a well-paced, riveting novel showcasing the complexities of Sarah/Aina, a woman born of a royal African lineage who is gifted into a royal Victorian household. Bryce leads the reader on a fascinating journey of discovery that delivers all the feels—the beauty, the romance, the danger, and politics of a woman trying to find her place in time and a country to call home."
— Vanessa Riley, bestselling author of Island Queen and Queen of Exiles
"Beneath the jewel-encrusted veneer of the Victorian-era British Empire are darker, less familiar voices demanding to be heard. Meticulously researched, we are immediately immersed in a world of violence, racism, and rapidly shifting geopolitics, but always at the center of the story is young Sarah, a pawn to be manipulated by forces outside of her control. The Other Princess is fascinating and absorbing and will have you rooting for a woman who, despite her circumstances, is determined to forge her own identity and create a life for herself." — Rita Woods, Award-winning author of The Last Dreamwalker
"An impeccably researched telling of the life of Sarah Forbes Bonetta... Written with energy, compassion, and candor, The Other Princess depicts the horrors of war and slavery, the pain of separation from one’s family and country, and the saving graces of friendship of spirit and personal resilience that Bonetta exemplified in real life. An essential and entrancing work of historical fiction." — Natalie Jenner, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society
“Poignant and beautifully crafted, Denny S. Bryce’s The Other Princess is a fascinating deep dive into the life of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, goddaughter to Queen Victoria. Sarah’s brilliance is her greatest asset as she learns to navigate life at court. Readers will be drawn to her story from the opening page and root for her until it’s satisfying conclusion. Perfect for fans of Victoria and The Crown.”
— Aimie K. Runyan, bestselling author of The School For German Brides and A Bakery in Paris
"Bryce has crafted a comprehensive portrait of Sarah Forbes Bonnetta using a single timeline, single narrator structure that imparts a biographical quality to the storytelling and takes time to unfold. As it does, an intimate rendering of a fascinating historical figure comes to life. Bonetta’s existence was fraught with extremes — loss and redemption, desolation and opulence, terror and love. Bryce’s sweeping depiction in “The Other Princess” delivers them all." — Atlanta Journal-Constitution