The Wild Princess proved to be one of the most enjoyable historical fiction novels I have read in a long time. I will admit to having a bias when it comes to historical fiction; either get all the details right or be a great story with a historical backdrop. Ms. Perry earned my admiration up front by acknowledging the book to be largely fiction with little history. With that great introduction, I relaxed and enjoyed the delightful tale.
Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria of Britain, had a reputation for being the wild child. Entering into an arranged marriage, Louise finds her husband does not match her expectations. Her honeymoon begins with threats to the whole royal family, bringing her into contact with one of her mother’s agents. The dashing American Stephen Bryne, working to protect the royal family, awakes feelings Louise does not know how to address. If this is not enough to test the patience of a young woman with a rebellious nature, the plot thickens with unexpected dangers to her life resulting from her friendship with a commoner.
The personal twists in Louise’s life came as no surprise as the plot unfolded; however, I enjoyed following along the journey as the characters discovered the details. I secretly hoped for a little surprise in the personal plot line but found the way it unfolded satisfying. The plot against the royal family twists away in the background, providing constant surprises. The exciting plot kept me turning pages, eagerly looking to see what happens next. At times I felt like there were too many subplots detracting attention from the main plot.
Louise jumps from the pages as a modern woman living in a pre-modern world. Stephen mixes an attractive blend of raw masculinity and sensitivity, the leading man women long to have. Unfortunately, the supporting characters held so much potential that did not develop. Her husband intrigued me and I regret that we did not get to know him better as the book progressed. Of all the characters, Louise’s youngest sister jumped from the pages as a charming supporting character that caught my attention. I was delighted to learn that the author intends to feature this young woman in a tale of her own.
Overall, I truly enjoyed this book. The few issues I had were minor and mostly matters of personal preference. Ms. Perry has an enjoyable writing style and spins a compelling story. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Sara Drake has been an avid reader since a young age. She has both a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s in History.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.