Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review: The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

1894 Penguin classic still on Shelf.

TITLE: The Prisoner of Zenda
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books, 1994
GENRE: Fiction, junior title
AUTHOR: Anthony Hope
PAGES: 140

When a lazy Rundolf Rassendylls takes a nap at the castle of Zenda adventure unfolds. He meets the king of Ruritania, who shockingly looks exactly like him, save for a few unnoticeable traces. On an invitation for dinner the king of Ruritania drinks wine brought by his brother The Black Michael and passes out. A day to being ordained.

The king’s men disparate in a bid to stop Black Michael plan to being ordained in the kings absence coaxed Rundolf Rassendylls’ to impost the king and be ordained, and hold to his future wife as he recovers.

To the astonishment of the Black Michael the king turns up for ordinance. Bound by his plan the black Michael plays along for fear of the citizens who will want their real king if he tells the Rundolf is an impostor. The play king dupes all the kingdom and holds unto the unsuspecting future queen.

Story unfolds and the real king is abducted by Black Michael. The play king, Rundolf, is forced to remain the king without enjoying the lavish lifestyle of a king and maintain the beautiful queen, princess Flavia without falling in love with her.
Anthony Hope

A quick paced story of sword wielding and suspense flow as the real king has to be helped and reinstated.

The story has line and flow, and a suitable as non-fiction for senior high school students. I first read the story in high school, Kanyawanga boys, donated by The British Council. I have read it, five times ever. Among the treasured classics, donated by the British Council are: Jane Eyre, The Mayor of Canterbery, Treasure Island, Kays, Adventure of Sherlock Holmes among others.

Around 80 decades since Anthony Hope (1863-1933) passed away and more than a century since published The Prisoner of Zenda has remained a popular story.

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