Monday, May 3, 2010

At the King's Command

Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: MIRA Books
Copyright: 2009
Genre: Romance

Juliana Romanov is a Russian princess who had to flee her homeland for England after her family was assassinated. When she is caught trying to steal a noble's horse, King Henry commands them to marry.

I wasn't at all excited about this book. After reading "Charm School" by this author, I expected more than the typical romance novel structure, but At the King's Command doesn't really deliver.

The concept of the story itself is far-fetched. Why would a Russian princess fleeing for her life travel straight to England when there are lots of other countries along the way for her to hide in? And why does she spend five years in England before making any serious attempt to return if she's so determined to get revenge?

The plot is basically non-existent, and the events that happen are not connected to each other. I was intrigued by the constant references to something mysterious in Stephen's past, but that was really the only thing propelling the story forward. Juliana's wish to return to Russia remains a wish, and nothing is done about it through most of the book (maybe something happens at the end - I don't know, I didn't get that far).

Juliana and Stephen's relationship is not developed very well either. On one page, they're cold and remote to each other, and on the next, they're all over each other. They're supposed to be confused about their feelings for each other, but the changes were too sharp and too drastic to be believable.

If you're looking for substance and quality, this is not the book for it. For a non-thinking read, this book does just fine.

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