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by Melissa Wyatt

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-73095-0
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Wyatt invents an Eastern European country with centuries of history for this pseudo-historical fiction that begins slowly but packs a punch in the second half. Alex Varenhoff’s ancestors were the kings of Rovenia, but the dynasty was banished generations ago and Alex has grown up in England. When the Rovenian people vote to restore the monarchy, Alex—suddenly Prince Alexei—is yanked out of school into a new life of royalty. He wants neither the attention nor the pressure of being Prince and belligerently rebels against forced protocol, mobs of screaming fans, and the lack of choice in his new life. Wyatt doesn’t use the history she’s created as fully as she could, but Alexei’s relationships with strict advisor Count deBatz, grounded American friend Sophy, and glamorous temptress Princess Isabelle all inform Alexei as he barely survives an assassination attempt and figures out what it means to serve his country as royalty. (family tree, Rovenian glossary) (Fiction. YA)