Blog Reviews Blog- ‘Rejected Princesses’

Marleigh V. D.

Bonnie Robinson

ENGL 1117 35&53

9 April 2019

Among the Zulu tribe, Mkabayi ka Jama spent her whole life as a power on or behind the throne. In Thebes, Timoclea threw her rapist down a well and stoned him to death, then influenced the sexual assault policy of Alexander the Great. Hypatia was the leading scholar of Alexandria c. 400 BC, until she was skinned alive by a Christian mob. Every time, every place, every story, woman after woman after woman. Rejected Princesses gives a voice to the noble, the bad-ass, and the forgotten women who changed history and are inspirations today. Most women profiled are/were real women, but some are myths, legends, or Goddesses.

Each profile in Rejected Princesses starts with a artistic 2-D rendering, placing the woman into a Disney Princess-like image. Below, Mary Patten is featured, showing the ship that she took command of while still a pregnant teenager, becoming the first American woman to command a ship. Below her, we see Toregene Khatun, Empress of the Mongols, and one of the most powerful women in history.

All drawings from Rejected Princesses are filled with symbolism and intention. The art notes of Toregene Khatun, for example, say that “Most of the art direction revolves around things being in the dark or in the light of the stage of history. From the time Toregene is captured up to her assumption of the throne, she’s in the dark. Then she enters the light and stays there until, violently, she’s ripped back into the dark at the end of the piece. Similarly, the relationship with Fatima is kept in the dark until it briefly enjoys some time in the sun, then gets thrust into darkness again”.

Each drawing and biography pays careful attention to accurate storytelling and representation. Every skin color, piece of jewelry, surrounding figures, etc. if carefully executed with an intent towards accuracy.

For the written biographies, each post is in either a comic-book format or a narrative format. While most posts are in comic form., both formats retain equal information and emotion, all presented in a fast pace. A page of a comic-book format may look like this, from Ani Pachen’s profile:

A paragraph in a written post may read like this, which is from Taytu Betul’s profile:

“After multiple attempts to sue for peace, Menilek and Taytu settled in to repel Italy’s immiment invasion. Taytu joined her husband on the front lines, traveling around with a personal force of 5,000 soldiers who, under her taskmaster guidance, “kept perfect order.” Witnessing the professionalism of her troops, a European observer wrote that Taytu “is a great lady, who perhaps in another milieu would have been a Christina of Sweden or a Catherine the Great.” (White person code for “if she wasn’t black.”)”

One of my favorite things about Rejected Princesses is that while the art may mimic that of an old-school Disney Princess, the stories certainly do not. Some stories are inspiring and revolve around moral women, sure, but some are about women who ruled as tyrants or killed mercilessly. No matter who the story is about, their biography shows them as a complex being and does not gloss over any gory details. Despite any morally questionable actions done by the women profiled, each is acknowledged as powerful, and the struggled they overcame due to their gender are respected.

Each post has a rating system that explains the maturity of the post (G, PG, PG-13, R), any upsetting content the post may have (rape, abuse, violence, etc.), the personality the woman profiled had in society (regal, rascal, professional, intellectual, martial, strange), the personality of the woman (heroic, villainous, mixed), and the ending of the story (upbeat, mixed, downer, offbeat). The ratings below are for the biography of Elisabeth Bathory, who is put down in legend as the woman who bathed in the blood of those she killed. To find out more, read her post! (Spoiler alert: she didn’t bathe in blood, but sexist twerps wanted you to think she did.)

Women of all shapes, sizes, moralities, colors, classes, and stories deserve a voice, and Rejected Princesses has made strides in providing access to us so that the voices and stories of women may be heard. Below is a map of all of the profiles covered so far in Rejected Princesses, a testament to the diversity of powerful women seen and unseen.


Borath, Jason. “Elisabeth Bathory: The Blood Countess.” Rejected Princesses,

Borath, Jason. “Mkabayi kaJama: Power Behind the Zulu Throne.” Rejected Princesses,

Borath, Jason. “Timoclea: The Woman Who Threw Her Rapist Down a Well.” Rejected Princesses,

Borath, Jason. “Hypatia: The Martyr Mathmatician.” Rejected Princesses, www.

Borath, Jason. “Mary Patten: The First American Woman to Command a Ship.” Rejected Princesses,

Borath, Jason. “Toregene Khatun: Empress of the Mongols.” Rejected Princesses,

Borath, Jason. “Ani Pachen: Tibetan Warrior Nun.” Rejected Princesses,

Borath, Jason. “Taytu Betul: The Bad Cop Empress of Ethiopia.” Rejected Princesses,

One Comment Add yours

  1. I love love love this website!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s