Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: PRINCESS MARITZA by Percy James Brebner

book cover
Original Publication Date: 1906

Genre: adventure, romance

Topics: knight-in-shining armor, quest, Germanic horde


I'm not entirely sure why I decided to download this book. I think it probably popped up as a, "If you enjoyed this book, try..." after I finished Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. And thematically, it is pretty similar: you have your English gentleman traveling across Europe, saving an obscure kingdom with a vaguely Germanic name, and falling in love with the princess. Except, of course, Prisoner of Zenda's really good, and Princess Maritza... isn't.

Desmond Ellery is a former officer with a dark past and a strong jaw. One day he's wandering about in a meadow, when he runs into the most beautiful woman he's ever seen--his words--who is actually a school girl running away from her studies. She explains to him she's an exiled princess and she would sure appreciate it if he helped her regain her throne. So, naturally, that's just what he does.

The writing style is insanely flowery, and not in a good way (not that there is a good way). I think it's because of this that the pacing of the novel is so slow. I hated the princess right off the bat, who's basically like, "I'm beautiful, I'm not afraid to admit I know it! I want to be a man! My goal after graduating is the political takeover of a country I've never been to!" Awesome. Basically, she's just an object, which isn't surprising; but she's also annoying and shallow.

I did like how Desmond's past is very mysterious, but Desmond himself is pretty boring. The flow of the story can be pretty jumpy sometimes, as well, and is full of paranoia about the Germanic Horde Taking Over Europe. I eventually decided to give up after the book put me to sleep.

In other words, I'm going to stick with Anthony Hope for the time being.