The Last Princess
Little, Brown, and Company
So, this is honestly a book that I thought sounded interesting rather against my will. It’s a piece of young adult post-apocalyptic fiction about the “last” princess of England:
Happily ever after is a thing of the past.
A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.
When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year old Princess Eliza manages to escape. Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope-and love-once more.
Now she must risk everything to ensure that she does not become . . .
The Last Princess.
So, as far as objectionable content, in some ways it was much better than most secular YA fiction I’ve come across, which are usually littered with language and sensuality. Thankfully, there wasn’t much of that here: there was one inappropriate use of the word “hell”; also, though there is only one kiss, it ends with two unmarried people falling asleep in each other’s arms, which is definitely a no-no.
However, what was really disturbing here was the violence. I’m not sure if I’d exactly describe it as “graphic”, but it was disturbing- the sort of stuff you’d come across when reading about World War II and the Nazis. Though I’ve never read The Hunger Games, I’ve heard a lot about it, and in some ways, it reminded me of this, because The Lost Princess will either horrify and sensitize you to the violence (like in my case) or it could jade you and desensitize you.
Also, there is one part where a mentor of Eliza’s mentions that when he was a child, his mother sent him to Sunday school, where he learned about Heaven and Hell: however, he then says he’s realized that no such places exist, except here on earth where sometimes we have to fight through Hell to get to Heaven. However, later, Eliza prays, and she and her siblings speak of seeing their parents again in heaven. There’s definitely no mention of Christ anywhere, and it’s rather unsure whether Eliza’s prayers come from real belief in God or just a last resort in case “Somebody” is listening.
There were some good points of this book, such as the fierce bonds of family and Eliza’s quest to save her siblings. Also, I was pleased that it did, for the most part, have happy ending (though it does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger, too, in preparation for its sequel). Though I’m giving this book a relatively high rating, because I thought both the plot and writing good, it’s not really something I’d feel comfortable recommending, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone under the age of sixteen.