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The Other Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Goddaughter
Denny S. Bryce


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

[P]  William Morrow & Company  /  October 03, 2023

 1.05" H x 8.02" L x 5.34" W (0.72 lbs) 448 pages