Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Title: Prisoners in the Palace
Author: Michaela MacColl
Pages: 368
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2010 

from Goodreads:
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.

After Elizabeth Hastings' parents are killed in a tragic accident, Liza is left horribly in debt. To remedy her situation- she turns to the palace doors in hopes of finding a job. Liza is then brought into the scene among royalty and becomes Princess Victoria's maid. She discovers that royalty is not at all what is seems. Sir Conroy is looking to steal the throne with Victoria's mother, the Duchess, Even the maids and the other servants thrive in their own rank. But Princess Victoria just wants to be loved.
I loved this book. I'm always a sucker for historical romances and this one did not disappoint. I was transported back into the 1800s where all men were gentlemen and if they weren't gentlemen- they were considered something of a thief like Inside Boy. Inside Boy was my favorite character. His speech, full of flash patter, was humorous at times and I found myself laughing along with the novel. Liza's character was very strong and wonderfully developed. I always love strong characters and not all authors can create such powerful characters. MacColl nailed her characters- to the point that they were almost as real as you and me. Will's character was fantastic. He was such a doll and too modest about himself. He was considered a businessman, but he was a total gentleman. He was adorable. Not to mention, Liza and Will's relationship was very cute.
Plus, did you see that cover up there?  There is no title on the cover.  One, I was drawn to this book by its cover.  It was shining and all glossy-like.  It had this big huge face on it and looked pretty awesome.  When I took this novel home with me, I noticed that there was no title on the front.  On the front is has MacColl's name and says A Novel of Intrigue and Romance.  Well, where was the title?  The title is on the back and is in the form of a newspaper sheet.  I have never seen anything like it and that was what caught my interest the most.
MacColl's writing style was amazing.  Not only did she stick with the language of the 1800s, but she put a modern tone on the whole thing that made it even more unique.
The ending kept me on my toes.  It was like when I watch movies and I can't even eat popcorn because the popcorn crunches too loud in my mouth to hear what they are saying on screen.  That was this ending- there was no way I could move or I might have missed something, because the ending was so fantastic that it kept me on the edge of my seat until it was over.  It was so difficult to put the book down when I had to go to work.
I recommend this book to all.

Cover: 5

Characters: 5

Writing Style: 5

Plot: 4

Ending: 5

Overall: 5

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