Saturday, April 10, 2010

Enchanting Review: A Brief History of Montmaray

Historical Fantasy YA
ISBN# 978-0375858642
304 Pages
Hardcover—Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

"Princess" Sophie Fitzosborne lives on the small island of Montmaray with the King, his daughter, her younger sister and a handful of residents who still remain. Her dear older brother is away at school in England and Sophie and family miss him terribly, keeping in contact only through sporadic letters. The house is terribly dilapidated, but despite that, Sophie is happy with her life. And even more so when a letter arrives from her aunt, inviting her to London for her debut. The only thing is, Sophie knows her cousin Veronica won't go and she's reluctant to go on her own. How could she navigate life in London without her? But then something happens that might just jeopardize everything.

I have to admit from the cover blurb, I thought A BRIEF HISTORY OF MONTMARAY might be a bit of a dry read. I was wrong. What I enjoyed most about the book was Sophie herself; she had a great voice and was really likable right from the start. All the characters were very unique: Veronica, Sophie's cousin and daughter of the King, who'd rather hole up in the library and work on the history of Montmaray then head to England and make her debut, not to mention The King himself, who's just a wee bit unstable and prefers to stay locked up in his room, preferring to deal only with the housekeeper and not his daughter nor his nieces. One of my favorite scenes is when we actually get a glimpse of the crazy King as he appears briefly and we see the chaos that erupts around him as he finally emerges from his room and into the kitchen where most of the family is present. From Sophia's memories, we see how the King's wife took off suddenly and how he fell into the state he's in. A great combination of history, intrigue and a dash of suspense, I look forward to reading more from Ms. Cooper.

Michelle Cooper lives in Sydney, Australia. Find an excerpt here:

Enchanting Reviews
October 2009

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