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What to Read If You Love The Great

If you get a little thrill out of finishing all your sentences with a “huzzah” and the word “quite” has found its way into your vocabulary, then chances are, you’ve seen The Great. And chances are you’re a fan of excellent outfits, the enemies-to-lovers trope, court drama, and pearls on princes. On that latter point, I may as well warn you now: I will argue that The Great is not in fact inspired by history, but rather by The Folk of the Air trilogy. So, without further ado, here is a list of books to read now that you’ve binged the third season. HUZZAH!

The Queen of Nothing

by Holly Black

I made a promise, and I shall deliver. The Queen of Nothing is source material for The Great. Exhibit A. Cardan the Cruel = Peter the Crueler. Exhibit B. Peter and Cardan love a great fashion moment and seem to care more about having a good time than ruling their domains. Exhibit C. Both Catherine and Jude kind of start a coup. Exhibit D. In a enemies-to-lovers moment, both Catherine and Jude fall in love with their cruel princes. Yes, one of these things is about fairies, I don’t care! I rest my case. This court is adjourned.  

Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

by Virginia Boecker

Ok, yes, I’ve argued that The Cruel Prince basically is The Great, so what more can I have to say? Well, lots, actually. The Cruel Prince might be the perfect comparison, but there are so many other books that give The Great vibes (pun intended). If you love The Great for its twist on history, then Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason is the book for you! We’ve got Shakespeare, ridiculous dresses, political drama, and Queen Elizabeth I. We’ve also got Lady Katherine, who has the same name as Catherine the Great…if we ignore that K.

Etiquette and Espionage

by Gail Carriger

If you love The Great for its humor, schemes, and outfits, then look no further than Etiquette and Espionage for your next read. It’s about Sophronia, a rule-breaking young lady who is sent away to finishing school, only to learn that finishing school is really SPY SCHOOL! (Not that her mom knows that). Just like The Great, this book is saucy and witty, and the characters get to wear amazing clothing. It’s a series, so you can binge it! And lest we forget, Catherine was all for refinement and uplifting women, so I’m sure she would wholeheartedly approve of finishing school. Especially the kind that gave women the tools to survive in a world full of intrigue and conspiracy!

The King is Dead

by Benjamin Dean

If you do a scant amount of googling, you will find that the British Royal family and the Russian Royals are related. The last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II­—great-great-great-grandson of Catherine the Great!—was King George V’s first cousin. So, while The King is Dead is set in a fictional Britain, I think we can safely say James, our hero and king, is related to Catherine and Peter. And just like in Catherine and Peter’s day, drama abounds in James’ court! People disappear, ferocious gossip spreads like fire, and you never know who to trust.


by Adalyn Grace

It is my unequivocal belief that Catherine would be a fan of Signa Farrow, the star of Belladonna. Signa is strong, independent, and clever. And, well, let’s just say her love interest is a little bit of a villain. Like Peter, a misunderstood villain, but a villain, nonetheless. Signa must also contend with the constraints of being a woman in this Victorian-inspired society and with having a mysterious power that can take life. Yes, Catherine doesn’t have any supernatural powers, and she’s against life-taking, but still, I think she and Signa would be the greatest of pals.

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich

by Deya Muniz

In many ways—well in almost all ways—The Great and The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich couldn’t be more different. The Great is a historical political dramedy set in Russia. The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a romantic comedy overflowing with cheese puns, set in the fictional city of Fondue. But both the show and the book are charming costume dramas/comedies, filled with humor and romance. And I believe that Peter, as a gourmand and Romantic, would love The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. This is what he quotes from, while Catherine quotes Voltaire.

The Drowned Woods

by Emily Lloyd-Jones

If you are not a Peter apologist—which I know none of us should be but sometimes a girl can’t help herself—then The Drowned Woods is the book for you! Because in The Drowned Woods, the evil prince really is evil. But again, we have all the qualities that make The Great great: political schemes to take down the evil ruler, a motley crew of allies, and costumes! Yes, The Drowned Woods is fantasy while The Great is merely fantastical, but nonetheless, both are kingdom-toppling stories. Huzzah!