PRINCESS BEN, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (Houghton Mifflin 2008)(ages 10+). Princess Benevolence has been content living with her parents, the king's brother and sister-in-law, in small quarters outside the palace. Despite being heir to the throne, she's never had any desire to learn the stuff of rulership.
But when her parents and the king are assassinated, she falls under the thumb of the Queen, who is insistent upon her learning all that she has hitherto neglected. When the queen locks Ben into the highest tower in the castle, the princess discovers a book on how to do magic, which can set her free.
But with war in the offing, will that be enough to save the kingdom?
PRINCESS BEN is a fun, lively fantasy, full of personal and political machinations, and a little bit of magic.