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Prisoners in the Palace: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance by Michaela MacColl

Prisoners in the Palace

They very nearly had to pry Liza out of the expensive London hotel. Surrounded by mementoes of her loving but tragically deceased family, the pretty, young girl had gone from a promising future to ruin. There was no money to even pay the hotel bill, and she had to sweet-talk the harrumphing manager into giving her cash for a hansom cab to follow up her only hope for sustaining herself—a job as a lady’s maid to Princess Victoria. But she could not know that very soon she and the princess would become Prisoners in the Palace.

Having been used to the finer things as she and her parents gallivanted about Europe, Liza was not impressed by the crumbling palace where Victoria, the heir to the British throne, lived in seclusion. But working as a lady’s maid was really her only opportunity. That way Liza could show off her exquisite manners—and Liza was very good at showing off—as well as her other attributes and quite possibly attract an eligible, titled young man, which was the plan in coming to London all along.

How shocking to be shown to the servants’ entrance and to be treated like a… servant! Liza’s high and mighty ways are about to get a shivering drench of perspective. Something isn’t right either in the upstairs parlors or the servants’ hall. Stories are going around London that the future queen—a teenager, like Liza—is dim-witted, hot-tempered and not fit for her future role. Could the Princess be insane? And what is the scrabbling inside the walls that Liza hears at night? Kensington Palace is a sealed-off world of its own and there is danger in it for both Princess Victoria and her lady’s maid.

Prisoners in the Palace is a very entertaining historical novel with hints of romance and intrigue. It plays much more loosely with what really happened than say, Jean Plaidy’s Captive of Kensington Palace but adding more characters and going further afield with “What If’s” bring the past to life with much gusto.  Liza, as the focal character, experiences many turns of fortune and changes in outlook as she learns that the world is wider than she knows and discovers that true love may take a wholly unexpected form.