Friday, February 21, 2014

The Shadow Princess by Mary Hart Perry

The Shadow PrincessThis was a fun book. It's not something to taken as accurate historical fiction. Queen Victoria's daughter certainly didn't run around Whitechapel searching for Jack the Ripper, but it does make a great yarn. Ms. Perry knows how to tell a tale, how to keep readers on their toes. I even had dreams of Jack the Ripper when I read this one before bed!

First of all, big applause to having an older heroine: 48, I believe, is the Queen's eldest daughter, the one who was briefly Queen of Germany (Is that right?). Austria? Something like that. She's recovering from her husband's death and in this tale, she finds herself a mission/purpose again and it turns out to be some badly-needed drive. She also realizes that she's not dead, that it's okay to move on. Very nice little side theme. I could relate to this. I totally understand the need to have a purpose, a mission.

The Jack the Ripper case was a great touch of suspense. Technically we never knew who the Ripper was, but Ms. Perry comes up with her own. Well done. A bit contrived, all of it, but as I said above, this isn't a story one reads expecting accuracy, though from the author's note, she utilized real letters and whatnot, and apparently the queen's own grandson was a suspect!

There's a romance. I will admit it sorta appears out of thin air. I had some trouble believing it, but in the end I liked their connection. Vicky falls for a detective, which back then was considered a commoner.

Something that really, really put me off however is her daughter, Sophie. What an awful girl. Horrid. A terrible snot and brat. I question why she was made this way. It was a tad OTT. I hope the next book isn't about her, if there is one. She turned my stomach. 

Ooh, but I liked that we see a softer side to Queen Victoria in this. Her parts were minimal, but she exhibits a surprising concern for those afflicted with mental illness. Just a nice touch. And I liked Vicky, the heroine. She is stubborn and takes what she wants. And never lets others boss her around. 

I received this via Netgalley.

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