This book is so depressing that it’s actually funny! In every chapter, another poor man is dying, being murdered, committing suicide, going insane, about to be hanged as a criminal, or dying of some horrific illness because his heart is breaking for love of the beautiful Princess Osra. All these poor stupid men, dying because the Princess is beautiful. It’s tragic and funny in its ridiculousness. (I mean, how beautiful could she be? She’s Helen of Troy, apparently.)
I love how chivalrous the noblemen are, and even the common men without riches or titles are full of chivalry and high feelings. The villains are calculating and malicious, and the heroes are completely unselfish and generous and kind. All of them are ready to dare anything, risk bodily harm, fight to the death in impossible duels, and risk their fortunes for the sake of the Princess and their own honor.
Each chapter follows some different escapade of the Princess and her would-be suitors, and I love the high adventure plots. It reminds me of Dumas’ Three Musketeers.
When Rudolf goes on vacation to Ruritania, he discovers that he is the King’s doppelganger. When the King is kidnapped by his evil half-brother, Duke Michael, Rudolf is persuaded to masquerade on the throne until the real King can be rescued. While Rudolf’s quick wit and steady nerves will help him to act as King, he is unprepared for the vagaries of the heart when he meets Princess Flavia.
I enjoyed both the books in this duology so much! The adventure, the espionage, the dashing heroes, the battles for honor and love, and of course, the beautiful Princess Flavia who inspires others to daring deeds of courage and loyalty. Continue reading →