The FitzOsbornes at War
It isn’t easy being royal—especially in World War Two. Welcome to the life of Sophie FitzOsborne, honorary princess of the island of Montmaray and main character in Michelle Cooper’s new novel, The FitzOsbornes at War. When the Germans launch an attack on their beloved isle, Sophie and the imperial family flee to London in hopes of finding solace in the midst of chaos. They believe there are safe until the unthinkable happens—Britain declares war on the Nazis. The FitzOsbornes know they cannot return to their ravaged kingdom, so they make the unanimous decision to stay in frenzied London—at all costs. As the trouble in London escalates, Sophie fills her journal with heart wrenching accounts of the pain and suffering the war brings to the city. Hundreds of lives are lost. Entire blocks are flattened by bombing raids. Blackouts are becoming regular. Thousands of soldiers are killed, wounded, or missing, including her brother, Toby. Families are uprooted from the places they’ve resided all their lives. Pandemonium is everywhere. Sophie doesn’t know what to do, or where to turn. Her journal is the only place she can find consolation from the scars of combat. As Sophie battles her way through the conflict that washes over London, will she and her family make it out—alive?
“I was still numb with disbelief; almost paralyzed with it. My tongue had turned heavy; my limbs seemed to belong to someone else; my fingers fumbled with the easiest and the most familiar of tasks.”
Okay, I’m kind of divided over this book. It was right on the fence for being good or bad for me. There were some parts that I LOVED, and there were some parts I felt were just there to take up space. At times I wanted to scream “GET ON WITH IT” at the top off my voice because …. it … just ….. went on …..and on….and on….about the most trivial of things. But don’t dismiss this book because of little ‘ole me and my complaints. The good points overshadowed the bad. I really connected with Sophie, our heroine. She was so strong in the face of danger, yet she was sensitive and deductive when she needed to be. The other characters in the book were also highly developed and full of vibrancy. The novel was also very informative about World War Two, though I have to warn you some of the material is strictly fictional, such as the existence of the island of Montmaray. There was also a bit a romance in this book, so count on plenty of dreamy sighs if you decide to venture into the world of the FitzOsbornes. In a nutshell, I enjoyed this book, but felt it could have been shortened to make it more interesting.
“Does everyone do this, I wonder? Dwell upon the worst possible outcome in horrifying detail, in the superstitious belief that it will stop from happening in reality?”
I would recommend this book for ages twelve and up, or for mature readers, because there is some mild expletives and sexual references. There is also some historical content that may be confusing for younger readers.
Even as her world is falling to pieces around her, even as her family is slowly being torn apart, even as her heart is just about to wrench in two, will Sophie be able to find the strength and bravery to make it back to her beloved homeland? Only The FitzOsbornes at War can tell you the answer!
Note: This series is a trilogy, and this novel is the final installment. The preceding novels are A Brief History of Montmaray and The FitzOsbornes in Exile if you are interested in reading them.