Friday, December 28, 2012

The Beginnings of a Queen

The Captive of Kensington Palace by Jean Plaidy

Summary: Victoria is virtually a prisoner in Kensington Palace. Her mother and her mother's chamberlain, Sir John Conroy, are her guards. They will not allow her to associate with anyone that has not been thoroughly and critically checked to make sure Victoria is not made harmed by their very presence.Even her governesses are under scrutiny. She is not even allowed to be alone! Someone must always be with her. Her only hope is in contemplating her coming of age, whereupon she may be free and able to take her "Uncle King's" crown without her dreaded captures taking regency. Her best friends are her "dear" sister Feodora, married and living in Germany; her Uncle Leopold, her cousin-in-law and uncle as well as King of the Belgians; Lehzen, her faithful governess; the King and Queen, whom she is rarely allowed to see; and her cousins that she is also rarely allowed to see. She has scheming uncles trying to usurp her right to the throne, and family fighting over her. Every day she comes closer to her dream of adulthood, and her guards' despair at loss of power.

Review: A slow and surprisingly boring historical fiction book about Queen Victoria.

I had never read a book about Queen Victoria before and I thought it would be interesting to read one, especially since I am a fan of both fiction and non-fiction about the monarchy. Unfortunately, this book was boring and took me a long time to read. I know historical fiction always twists the facts a little, but Queen Victoria's story certainly sounds like an interesting one. I will most definitely pick up another book about Queen Victoria, preferably a non-fiction book to start off with. 

I know that there had to be a contrast between Victoria, who was the hero, his mother and Conroy, who are the bad guys, and Uncle Leopold, whom Victoria adored. It was too much of a contrast. Leopold could do no wrong and her mother and Conroy were evil. It was a little much. Victoria starts to dislike her mother and makes some good, informed decision, but still believes and follows everything Leopold says even though he is manipulating her more than her mother. I might read the second book to see how Victoria handles being queen. I hope she learns the truth about her precious Uncle Leopold. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction about queens or about Queen Victoria specifically.

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