An untold story, a modern romance -- but somehow even Bertita Harding has not been able to cloak it in the aura that pervades her other books dealing with members of the royal line of Austria. Perhaps the period is too close for it to be possible to get away from a somewhat studied attention to chronological accuracy, to details handled better elsewhere. Some day the story will be told again. Meantime, it is one of the great adventures of our generation, this troubled pattern of the ""pretender"" to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Karl was a favorite nephew of the old Franz Joseph, and became heir apparent after the tragedy of Sarajevo. Scarcely he had been proclaimed emperor, with Franz Joseph's death, than he was exiled to Switzerland. So far the story is somewhat commonplace. But in the successive attempts to stage a coup d'etat, in the courageous journey through forbidden territory to Hungary, once alone, once accompanied by Zita, Karl wins our affection and respect. Good adventure -- and a tragic ending. His son Otto, still lives, his mother still hopes. Perhaps the final chapter is yet to be written. Bertita Harding has a wide and enthusiastic and somewhat uncritical audience. Hence the inclusion of this book under the MUST BOOK classification. But it is not Bertita Harding at her best.