Saturday, October 23, 2010

Prisoners In The Palace by Michaela MacColl

Prisoners In The Palace by Michaela MacColl.
Publisher: Chronicle Books.
Pages: 304.
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?
I usually avoid historical novels like the plague. Seriously. For some reason, I just can’t get into most of them and I tend to get lost very easily. Which is why I dragged my feet when I first opened Prisoners In The Palace. It had to be read out of obligation, but I didn’t expect to like it enough to review it. Surprise!

Prisoners In The Palace is one of the best historical novels I’ve read so far. Michaela MacColl manages to mix the history of Queen Victoria with scandal and romance so gracefully that it’s impossible to get lost. The writing is gorgeous without being ostentatious; simple but powerful. And the characters, though clearly written appropriately to the 1800s, have actual personalities so it won’t just end up being “another book about that dead queen.”

It reads like a modern day book, but has all the grace and style of historical fiction. Liza and Princess Victoria’s shenanigans to tarnish Sir John Conroy’s name were incredibly entertaining. Liza’s relationship with Will, a newspaperman, was incredibly romantic. And the scandalous plot twists of this book were incredibly enthralling. And I never thought I would say this, but I actually loved all the detailed setting and history lessons that are subtly stuffed between the shenanigans, romance and plot twists.

Overall, Prisoners In The Palace has broken my avoidance of historical novels. It’s simply a great read without being over the top or boring. With a plethora of entertaining characters, gossip and scandals, romance, and faint but memorable history, the book is definitely a must for all historical fans and non-fans who wish to be converted! I definitely recommend!

Other reviews for Prisoners In The Palace:
WORD For Teens.
Mom Blog Network.
The Bodacious Pen.
Historically Obsessed.


  1. I have been dying to read this one and after your review I really have to get my hands on a copy. Great review!

  2. I'm so excited to read this- I recently got an ARC and can't wait to get started on it. Love historical fiction :) Great review!

  3. I loved this one too, it was such a quick read. I stayed up until 1:30 AM to finish it!

  4. Superb review. The plot sounds intriguing.

  5. Ahhh, I think this has to be one od the best historical fictions I've ever read! I loved the two covers and really enjoyed the wasn't boring like I find most historical novels.