Book Review: The Captive of Kensington Palace

the captive of kensington palace by jean plaidyVictoria is virtually a prisoner in Kensington Palace. Her mother and her mother’s chamberlain, Sir John Conroy, are her guards. They will not allow her to associate with anyone that has not been thoroughly and critically checked to make sure Victoria is not made harmed by their very presence. Even her governesses are under scrutiny. She is not even allowed to be alone! Someone must always be with her. Her only hope is in contemplating her coming of age, whereupon she may be free and able to take her “Uncle King’s” crown without her dreaded captures taking regency. Her best friends are her “dear” sister Feodora, married and living in Germany; her Uncle Leopold, her cousin-in-law and uncle as well as King of the Belgians; Lehzen, her faithful governess; the King and Queen, whom she is rarely allowed to see; and her cousins that she is also rarely allowed to see. She has scheming uncles trying to usurp her right to the throne, and family fighting over her. Every day she comes closer to her dream of adulthood, and her guards’ despair at loss of power. (via Goodreads)

What I Thought

I really do love Jean Plaidy novels they are not about nitty gritty facts they are really stories. The crazypants childhood of Queen Victoria is better left to the biographers. I thought that Victoria was lovely. She was emotional, clever, sentimental, innocent, loyal, and compassionate. She was was an identifiable heroine since as the book went on she turned from her mother’s robot daughter to realizing her mother was using and manipulating her and disliking her for it. It was really great to see the character progress through the book, wishing for her freedom, and getting her voice to stand up to her mother.

The childhood of most monarchs is usually really dull they’re either rangs to riches stories or they’re spoiled rich kids that learn a lesson. This book was neither and it was so refreshing to read for that reason. Victoria was not a bad person and it’s amazing that she wasn’t since she was surrounded by her overbearing rude mother and her mother’s overly ambitious ‘friend’ – both of whom are great villans. It’s was even fun to read the conversations between the two of them because they often ended up laughing and I just imagined that crazy evil scientist laugh the entire time in my head. I think that added something to my reading experience.

There was little romance in this and I think that it will probably start in the next one. Albert was maybe in the book for 20 pages so the rest of the series will be about their betrothal,  wedding, and 9000 children while establishing the Victorian era as we know it today. I’ll be reading more in this series. I just love Jean Plaidy’s history light books. They are easy to read, good writing, the good guys are always not obnoxiously good and the bad guy are really bad plus they’re short and you’ve learned a bit more about someone famous in history.

Rating: ★★★★½

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