Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Prisoners in the Palace - Michaela MacColl

Summary:  Royal secrets, a handsome suitor, and the future of England's throne.

London, 1836.  Miss Elizabeth Hastings is living a Victorian girl's dream.  Young, rich, and beautiful, Liza and her family have just moved to London to commence her debut in society.  But when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, Liza must cope with her grief and face the fact that her indulgent parents have left her almost penniless.  Forced to choose between begging and servitude, she accepts the position of lady's maid to the young Princess Victoria.  It's a bewildering new world, full of gossipy servants intrigue downstairs and cunning aristocratic treachery upstairs.  Between removing the frills from her too-ladylike clothes, flirting with a secret suitor, and tutoring the princess, Liza has her hands full.  But on top of all that, she's entrusted with the responsibility of clearing Victoria's path to the throne from the threat of treason.

Can Liza find a way to protect her queen, find true love, and determine her own fate, or is she destined to remain a servant forever?  (Summary from back of book - Image from )

My Review:  I picked up Prisoners in the Palace because I thought it sounded a little like  A Countess Below Stairsone of my favorite YA clean romances, and was hoping for a similarly enjoyable experience.   Alas, it was not to be.  When I don't have much positive feedback to give, I find it's best to be brief.  So here goes...

Prisoners in the Palace had an interesting premise but failed to hold my attention or make me care about the characters, whose relationships (both platonic and romantic) lacked depth or any real  chemistry.  While it does seem that the author went to great lengths to bring history to life within the confines of the story, I can't really attest to her success or failure as I'm not terribly familiar with the particulars or the era.  Though I began with high hopes, I couldn't manage to dig in or connect emotionally with the story and became bored rather quickly.  I forced myself to read for a good long while before remembering that I don't do that any more*.  In the end, I made it through #275 of 354 pages before finally throwing in the proverbial towel.  Perhaps the story took a turn for the better on page 276, but I doubt it.  Honestly, if I am not feeling the love 275 pages in to a story, it's unlikely 79 more pages will make much of a difference. 

My Rating: 2 Stars.

For the sensitive reader:  Fairly clean.  No swearing that I can recall.  There is passing reference to a maid being raped, becoming pregnant, and losing her position in a household, but it is only mentioned, not described.

*Ain't nobody got time for that.  (To read books they don't feel like reading)

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