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The Queen Must Die (Chronicles of the…

The Queen Must Die (Chronicles of the Tempus)

by K.A.S. Quinn

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This was great - a few of those moments where you wonder if the dialogue feels authentic...would a 19th Century Princess have spoken to a stranger who has arrived from 2011 New York City in that way...however this is fantasy and it is a kid's book... I thoroughly enjoyed and read from start to finish in one sitting. ( )
  alidevnz | Apr 1, 2013 |
American Katie is exasperated by the solipsism of her thrice-divorced popstar mother and hides in her books under her New York sofa. When she awakes in the Buckingham Palace of 1851 she encounters a very different kind of parent: her new friend Princess Alice is the daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Although time travel is fundamental to this novel and the problem of getting Katie back to her own time occupies the characters in one plot, little time is devoted to exploring the science or supernatural mechanism that occasions her journey. Prince Albert's grand plans for a Crystal Palace housing a vast Great Exhibition provide the background to a conspiracy to assassinate Victoria. The children try to frustrate this conspiracy as Katie (and, presumably, our young readers) comes to terms with what she sees as the absurdities of mid-nineteenth century Victorian London. There are more parallels across time and space than there are differences but Katie's American perspective is even more alien than that of the Brits and this is used to comic effect in this warmly funny book. It captures a period flavour that is slightly later than is appropriate (more E. Nesbit than Ballantyne or Hawthorne) and there are several historical solecisms but these should not worry its intended audience and I expect them to come back for the next two volumes as Quinn releases them. ( )
  TheoClarke | Apr 4, 2010 |
Katie is a modern teen, who finds it hard to get on with her peers, and likes nothing better than camping out under her bed with her books. After falling asleep whilst reading one day, Katie suddenly finds herself in Victorian England, under a sofa in Buckingham Palace.

The majority of the book is a historical adventure. Katie is discovered by Princess Alice, the young daughter of the Queen, and then by James, the son of the royal doctor. Whilst trying to work out how Katie has gotten there, and finding a way home for her, they uncover a plot to assassinate the Queen. The three young people learn to work together, to find all the answers.

The historical aspect is handled really well, especially the descriptions of The Crystal Palace, which was built for the 1851 Great Exhibition. It lead me to find out a little more, and anything which encourages further reading/ research in children has to be good!

The adventure part of the story does run all the way through, but it picks up more in the second half. It was during this second half that I found myself drawn back to the book much more.

Towards the end of the book, the issue of Katie’s time travelling is explored in greater detail, as the books strays into the realm of science fiction / fantasy. For me, this aspect of the book didn’t work quite as well as the historical and adventure aspects. However, if the author hadn’t explored this issue, I’m not sure how Katie’s existence there would have been explained. Plus, of course, in the days of the like of Dr Who, this aspect will probably actually be welcomed by young readers.

The Queen Must Die is the first in a new trilogy, and I understand the main characters will be returning. I’m certainly interested to see where the author will take the story in the next book, and I will be encouraging my daughter to take a look too.
  michelle_bcf | Mar 24, 2010 |
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The first book in a riveting trilogy which combines supernatural time travel with historical drama. A young girl stumbles through time to the court of Queen Victoria where she discovers that her destiny has given her a role of cosmic significance. Ages 10+.… (more)

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