Monday, November 1, 2010

Review - Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

TITLE:    Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Michaela MacColl
INFO:    Hardcover, Fiction, 362 pages
PUBLISHED:   Chronicle Books, 2010
ISBN#:   978-0-8118-7300-0
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from the Publisher for Review

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?   

Meticulously based on newly discovered information, this riveting novel is as rich in historical detail as Catherine, Called Birdy, and as sizzling with intrigue as The Luxe.

MY TAKE:   I enjoy historical fiction and this book is a lovely addition to the this genre as well as that of young adult reading.  It is listed as an appropriate book for ages 12 and up.  I think young readers and adults alike will find this a very satisfying look into Queen Victoria's young life.

Liza is mercilessly thrust into the life of a servant after being catered to and pampered her entire existence.  She is 16 years old and doesn't know how to undress herself!  When she lucks into a position as a maid to Princess Victoria at the run-down Kensington Palace, she must learn to do everything for her lady that she was used to having done for herself.

There are several colorful characters that are introduced in the telling of the tale.  Several are people that you instinctively dislike such as Victoria's mother, the Duchess and her ally, Sir John.  The author writes their personalities in such a way that you can't help but root against them in favor of Liza and the Princess.  In contrast, Will and Inside Boy are two of the supporting cast that you immediately like.  

I always enjoy when an author incorporates real people and real events into a fictional story.  It gives these historical figures a much more human appeal and a reality to them.  Ms. MacColl wove fiction and fact into a lovely tale of two young ladies in different circumstances who are thrown together to make their way as they can.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from this debut author. 
MY RATING:    4/5

WHERE TO BUY IT: AmazonIndieBound, The Book Depository, Powell's Books

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, I think this has to be one od the best historical fictions I've ever read! I loved the two covers and really enjoyed the wasn't boring like I find most historical novels.


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