A rollicking tale of adventure and mistaken identity, written in a style reminiscent of 19th-century melodrama. Prince Brat deserves his name--he causes trouble at every possible opportunity. Luckily for him it's forbidden to strike a prince, so the palace keeps a whipping boy as his surrogate. Jemmy, plucked from the sewers to become the royal whipping boy, dreams of returning to his life as a rat-catcher. One night the prince decides to run away and orders Jemmy to join him. The two boys embark on a comical series of misadventures that include two murderous highwaymen, a dancing bear, and a journey through the rat-infested sewers beneath the city. In the process, of course, the prince and his whipping boy become fast friends. Short chapters and a rapid pace make this slight tale easy to read, despite an occasionally complex style. Language is well-chosen and the robust scenes and characters are vividly, if sketchily, evoked. Pen-and-ink illustrations capture the droll humor of the text. Thin at times, this comic adventure story does offer readers a nice change of pace.