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Source: ARC for review
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Format: Hardcover, 295 pages
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Happily ever after is a thing of the past.
A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.
When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year-old Princess Eliza manages to escape.
Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope—and to love—once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she not become... The Last Princess.
This book definitely starts off with a bang. Two pages in and you can already see the very dramatic beginning of a revolutionary political movement as the Queen of England lies dead on the grass from a poisoned fruit. From there, the excitement doesn't lower too much. This book is a constant adventure filled with action, betrayal and even a little romance.
I'll start with the negative. Although this book isn't too short (almost 300 pages) there is a lot to cover. It takes place in a fairly short time period but still. Eliza makes the transition from precious princess to disguised spy and in the course of the book, a lot of huge things linked with political, country-wide wars occur. Although it was nice to have such a quick, fast-paced read, I wish there would have been more time spent building up to certain events.
The rebels that threaten to destroy the royal family are not entirely without reason. Really, there was a point near the beginning of the novel when Eliza's family is having a BALL and yet you also read descriptions of the poverty and famine outside the castle gates. Yeah... getting a new leader? It's not sounding like too bad of an idea. The political side of this novel fascinated me. It wasn't all black and white and there were times I wasn't sure who to be rooting for. Galaxy Craze doesn't shy away from the harshness of the situation and you can really feel the desperation (or at least I could) of the citizens.
Eliza herself is likeable enough. I was able to justify her transition from a sheltered princess to a bold warrior largely because of the impossible situation she was in. People do extraordinary things when they need to after all. I think my favourite part of Eliza was the genuine desire she seemed to have to make her country a better place. She wasn't blind to the fact that her father had made bad decisions and she didn't try to justify them to anyone. I wanted her to succeed.
Exciting and fast-paced, The Last Princess definitely makes an enjoyable read if you're willing to look over some seemingly unbelievable events.
(Oh, and I'm just going to pretend this is a standalone. WHY IS IT NOT A STANDALONE?)
Cover Comments: Can we have a round of applause for the people behind this cover? Seriously, it's gorgeous. The England landscape in the background with that murky quality and then the bright, eye-catching sky. It's just lovely.