Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE FITZOSBORNES IN EXILE by Michelle Cooper Kirkus Star


From the Montmaray Journals series, volume 2

by Michelle Cooper

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-85865-9
Publisher: Random House

Having narrowly escaped the Nazi bombing of their miniscule island kingdom, the young impoverished royal family of Montmaray is living in exile in England with their very wealthy aunt (A Brief History of Montmaray, 2008). Their lives have changed dramatically, as they are thrown unprepared into the world of upper-class society. But they also become embroiled in all the confusion of the perilous 1930s, speaking out against Fascism and appeasement and aiding children escaping from the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, all the while attempting to get help in wresting their home back from the Germans. Princess Sophie’s voice is true and clear in her journal, with syntax and tone spot on, as she writes with compassion of the upheaval, changing family dynamics and her own emotional growth. The novel is, in Sophie's words, a combination of the “Awful Bits” and “things that successfully distract one from the Awful Bits” in a world that “has been wound up as far as it could go.” The lively, charming characters meet challenges with pluck and ingenuity as well as a great deal of humor. Will modern readers get all the references to the real events and people? Perhaps not, but it won't matter, because the information is woven seamlessly into the plot. Multilayered and engrossing, Cooper’s tale alternates between frothy fun and heartbreaking seriousness with utter mastery. (author's note) (Historical fiction. YA)