Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prisoners in the Palace

by Micheala MacColl
368 pages

*** About the Book *** 
Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel

Young Liza is about to make her entrance into London society when her parents are killed in a tragic accident.  She suddenly finds herself without money and without family of any kind to support her.  When the opportunity to work in Princess Victoria's household Liza considers herself lucky to be given a chance to support herself.  But what she finds is a lonely young girl living a confusing and extremely sheltered life and adults who are conniving to gain control over the future queen.

*** Why I Read It ***

I have to be honest ... it was because of the cover! This book is absolutely gorgeous.  The dust jacket has shimmery effects that really attract the eye, the cover itself is a beautiful grey and white paisley pattern, and each new chapter starts off with a decorative page.  Of course, the idea of reading about Queen Victoria as a young woman was quite appealing as well.

I received this book for review from the publisher.

*** My Thoughts ***

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a Young Adult historical novel and is very well written and engaging.  I loved the historical details that were included and especially appreciated the detailed authors note explaining what was taken directly from history and what was embellished.  The life of the young princess Victoria was so horribly sheltered that it is amazing she became the queen that she did. 

I liked this book so much that I had to learn more about Queen Victoria so I rented the movie The Young Victoria.  It was a great film and agreed with the book on most points.  When multiple productions (books, movies, etc.) agree on the basic details it makes me more confident that the authors got things right, so I felt even better about the book after watching the movie. 

After the book and the movie I was STILL interested in learning more so went to the library and got a DVD called Queen Victoria's Empire.  This documentary showed what happened after Victoria became queen and provided a great follow-up to the book and movie.

So, when a book inspires me to learn more (and more) I feel quite good about that book.  I've already recommended it to a friend who teaches high school - I think her students would be attracted to the cover and would really enjoy the book as well.


Kay said...

I love the time period and think it would be fun to read about Queen Victoria before she becomes an old lady. LOL

Heather J. said...

Kay - It's an easy read and I think you'd really enjoy it - definitely give it a shot!

Amanda said...

I've seen this book around and LOVE the cover too. Glad to know the contents are good too!

I love love the Victorian era. During college I read (still own and need to re-read) a great book called Heaven's Command by Jan Morris (also known as James Morris). He has a couple books on the imperialism of Queen Victoria but man is it packed with information. I loved learning about the young queen and her relationship with her prime ministers and how she reigned. They are non-fiction but well worth the read.

GMR said...

LOL. Would you believe that I almost reviewed this one for the very same reason? Opted not to (silly me) as I don't favor historically steeped novels...but all the reviews I've read of this one have me thinking it over yet again. Covers DO play a big role in readers finding their next read when they don't know the author or story. Enjoyed the review...happy reading!

Heather J. said...

Amanda - Reading in the Victorian era is a new thing for me and I'm really enjoying it so far. Do you have any suggestions for fiction set in this period? I'll look into that nonfic title you mentioned the next time I need a good nonfic fix!

GMR - I'm so glad I succumbed to the draw of the cover! You should definitely look for a copy of this one - if nothing else, it will look really good on your shelf ... LOL

bermudaonion said...

I've been lusting after this book because of it's gorgeous cover too. I'm glad the inside is as good as the outside.

Cozy in Texas said...

This sounds like a good read. I loved the movie Young Victoria. Most of what we read about Victoria is after she became queen so I like these insights into her life before the crown.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

I can feel your happiness. I believe that's what books are meant for. One needs to have gained something after reading a book.

Heather J. said...

bermudaonion - It definitely is.

Cozy in Texas - Exactly! Much of this was new-to-me history, which is why I just had to learn more.

Nana - I couldn't agree more.

nomadreader (Carrie) said...

You're right! That cover is gorgeous! I'm not much for YA anymore, but I loved the film The Young Victoria and want to learn more about her. Perhaps this novel would be a good place to start. Thanks!

Heather J. said...

nomadreader - I almost never read YA books so this was a departure for me. It was a bit simplistic in the way that I feel many YA novels are but I still really enjoyed it. Hope you'll give it a shot!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Cover love and it sounds like a good reading choice! I really like historical fiction.

Bybee said...

Oh, nice...I bet my book group would be all over this! I like the cover, too!

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