Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl
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.[Source]
I received this book for review from the publisher through 1 ARC Tours. I chose to join this tour because I love historical fiction and I love royalty novels.
The book starts off shortly after Liza's parents have died, so it jumped right into the conflict. An up-and-coming debutante has been left penniless, with no family or friends to turn to. Luckily, Liza has been raised to be independent and quick-thinking...
Or so I thought. This girl is witty enough to negotiate with the hotel owner and prevent him from selling her possessions, but she's too naive to hold her tongue when addressing a potential employer.
Liza smartened up over the course of the book, and formed some vital friendships. Most obvious, of course, is her friendship with Princess Victoria. But there was also Boy and Will, and the unexpected alliance with Lehzen. Without those friendships, Liza surely would have ended up like Annie.
As for Simon, well, I did NOT see that coming! When I did a quick reread, I saw the signs, although only because I knew what to read for. I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone, but I will warn you to read all the dialogue VERY CAREFULLY.
I liked that this book jumps right in with conflict and struggles, so no pages are wasted on developing problems for characters to solve. The problems are presented almost immediately. I also loved the theme of the unexpected friendships. However, overall, I felt the book was lacking something. It doesn't jump out as a romance, or a mystery, and the historical fiction aspect needs something else to back it up.