The sequel to the excellent A Brief History of Montmaray and which will, based on the ending and the 2 in the title, become part of a trilogy, I assume is just as charming, compelling, thoughtful and engaging as is predecessor I think it could be read as a stand alone, but really there is no reason not to read the first book first as it is excellent Here we find the FitzOsbornes entering adulthood dealing with life under their proper aunt s control in elegant London and threats of a second world war looming on the horizon From negotiating the politics of coming out balls and trying to avoid dull suitors foisted upon them by their well meaning aunt, to run ins with Blackshirts and assassins, Victoria and Sophie face their fair share of troubles Tomboy Henry fairs somewhat better in the countryside with her beloved dog and a host of other creatures but, as heir to the Montmaray throne, Toby seems to fritter away his Eaton education one that untitled Stephen would give anything to obtain himself Budding romances, political intrigue, and seeking the retribution due to Montmaray are all told through Sophie s eyes and make for delicious storytelling and satisfying plot I may have actually enjoyed this onethan the first, since I liked the interweaving of historical events and persons which seemedinvolved here than in the first book when they were on Montmaray andisolated I also preferred London s 1930s upper class setting to the Gothic aspects of the Montmaray castle though I know some readers felt the opposite In any case, this is a stand out series and I highly recommend it .
I am physically shaking My heart is racing My hands and feet are sweating.
I have just completed the second Montmaray Journal and I am bursting with love, if Michelle Cooper keeps popping emotionally gripping books like this, I think I might just explode With love and passion and any other word that means endless devotion to a novel.
I m actually seriously considering finding her official fan site or, even better, her email address and sending her my deepest appreciation I physically can not begin to describe how fucking fantastic this book truly is I m am so attached to these characters, Sophie in particular, and I am most probably going to start crying when I finish the third and final book coming soon.
This is the first book in a while that I have become emotionally, and mentally attached to and if I can get one single person in the world to start reading this book I will be the happiest person ever.
Actually, I was in a book store today where I bought the next book I shall be reading , and I was browsing the teen section when I saw A Brief History Of Montmaray tucked away on the side looking sad I then picked it up and placed it in the very middle of the shelf, in front of other books, and all I could think was I m going mad But you know what happened Another lady was standing there, looking for a book for her daughter, when mum said to me Oh look Catriona, theres that book your reading And I said Oh gosh, yes Isn t it wonderful And the lady said I m looking for a book for my daughter to read When mum said Well my daughter rated that book 12 10, that s how good it is We then walked away and bought another book I wanted, and glancing back, I saw the woman reading the blurb of the first and second book YES I am so proud Maybe another girl my age will read this book and enjoy it just as much I have enjoyed it And that s when you realize how wonderful life is.
Yes, I am going mad.
I m not going to do a proper review for this book, as it is a sequel But you can find my review for the first book A Brief History Of Montmaray somewhere within my blog.
If you have ever considered reading this book, do not hesitate You will not regret it A brief history of Montmaray The FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper.
At the end of The Brief History of Montmaray, the first book in the thus far trilogy about the FitzOsbornes, royal family of the Kingdom of Montmaray, they were running for their lives in the midst of a Luftwaffe attack Book 2, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, continues following these royals after their safe arrival in London as recorded by Sophia FitzOsborne in her journal Now, it is 1937 and the FitzOsbornes have found refuge at Aunt Charlotte s Milford Park estate in Dorset Sophie has been looking forward to making her debut in society, excitedby the elaborate parties and the beautiful gowns Veronica, her beautiful cousin, couldn t care less about making her debut and instead is focused on getting Montmaray away from the Germans, Henry, short for Henrietta and Sophie s younger sister, is up to her usual tricks, even managing to acquire a pet pig named Estella Toby, the future king of Montmaray, isinterested in Simon Chester than school or his monarchy, and Simon, son of housekeeper Rebecca Chester and the late King of Montmaray, has just been made Lord Chancellor in an attempt to appease his claim on the Montmaravian throne Needless to say, this all makes for some interesting reading Oh yes, and wealthy Aunt Charlotte rules over the FitzOsbornes with an iron hand, doing her best to get Sophie, Toby, and Veronica married off to suitable partners, and away from ideas of returning to Montmaray, and getting Henry under control andgirlish.
Sophie continues to journal about the everyday things in the lives of the FitzOsbornes, providing a window into 1930s English upper class society and politics And Sophie is the ideal chronicler of all that goes on around her She is shy and quiet around people, becoming the girl no one notices, but also the girl who takes in everything she observes and uses it for, as Simon Chester learns, rather Machiavellian purposes Of course, with the world on the brink of war, politics is everywhere in The FitzOsbornes in Exile with lots of mentions of real life characters like Unity Mitford, the Mitford sister who likes wearing her Swastika badge everywhere, British Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts, and Kathleen Kick Kennedy, Sophie s new friend and daughter of Ambassador Joseph Kennedy And if these are unfamiliar names, don t worry Cooper makes it all very clear and intelligible for readers who might not be so familiar with this time period And you would think that the assassination attempt on Veronica for her strong anti Fascist opinions, a target of the Fascist movement in Britain, but, well, I ll leave the crazed assassination bit for you to discover yourself.
Of course, there is also plenty of humor My favorite bit being when Henry and her Girl Guide patrol of evacuated Basque girls are invited to Buckingham Palace for tea, along with several other Guide patrols Things quickly go downhill for Henry when she graphically explains to Princess Elizabeth how the Germans could annihilate London should war be declared, much to the horror of many of the Guides present and Queen of England herself After all, England was maintaining a policy of appeasement and the delusion that they were still friends with Germany In fact, England s early refusal to take Germany seriously is demonstrated throughout The FitzOsbornes in Exile.
All in all, The FitzOsbornes in Exile a very worthy sequel to The Brief History of Montmaray, though somewhatof a historical novel than the first book It is still witty and fun, and there is plenty of action and adventure to satisfy The book covers pre war Britain, beginning in January 1937 and continuing through August 1939, less than two weeks before war is declared But, do not be despaired wondering if the FitzOsbornes will ever get their island kingdom back there is a third book, aptly names The FitzOsbornes at War It is being released in Australia and New Zealand in April 2012, lucky ducks, and in England and North America in October 2012 Umm.
I wonder how much the postage from Australia to the US is Tempting This book is recommended for readers age 12 and upThis book was purchased for my personal library As the title to this sequel to A Brief History of Montmaray suggests, the FitzOsbornes the royal family of the tiny kingdom of Montmaray, an island lying midway between Britain and Iberia, in the Bay of Biscay had gone into exile in Britain, driven from their ancestral home by a Nazi invasion Living in the lap of luxury provided by their Aunt Charlotte, whose marriage to a wealthy Englishman had established her in that nation s high society, our narrator Sophie, her brilliant cousin Veronica, tomboyish younger sister Henry Henriette , flippant older brother Toby now King Tobias , and unacknowledged cousin and friend, Simon Chester, all struggle in their separate ways to adjust to the dramatic turn that events have taken As Sophie and Veronica endure the Season, during which Aunt Charlotte attempts to fix their matrimonial prospects, Toby struggles at Oxford, and Simon undertakes a number of projects of his own, they must all of them grapple with the fact that Montmaray has been lost, and, coming together again, begin to plan how best to retake it Quarreling as much amongst themselves as ever, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, whether confronting deranged assassins or evading Nazi agents, are still a force to be reckoned withAfter my somewhat ambivalent feelings regarding Michelle Cooper s first foray into the world of Montmaray s royal family I enjoyed A Brief History of Montmaray , but not quite as much as I d expected I wasn t sure how I would like this second installment I d hoped, given the fact that I found the conclusion of the first book stronger than the beginning, that I would like this sequel even , and I was not disappointed I raced through The FitzOsbornes in Exile, and enjoyed every minute of it Yes, Cooper does sometimes feel as if she s doing a bit of an info dump for the benefit of her readers see children this is why fascism might have appealed to people but it is never so pronounced that it takes away from the excitement of the story, or my involvement with the characters And it is the characters from Sophie herself, who suddenly seems so muchmature, to Simon and Toby, whose relationship is anything but simple that really make this book worthwhile I felt, in the first book, curiously distant from FitzOsbornes, and I struggled to work up much interest in their lives Here, by contrast, I was completely wrapped up in their story, and dead to the world, while reading I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the third and final installment, The FitzOsbornes at War
5 starsIn lieu of, or until I write a proper review, I thought I d write a recommendation for the Montmaray books and yes, I m aware that I m cheating here by incorporating books 1 and 2 into one review.
You may enjoy A Brief History of Montmaray and The FitzOsbornes in Exile if you like reading about are a fan of are interested in Dodie Smith s I Capture the CastleMeticulously researched historical fiction Holy Grail hunting FascistsUnrequited loveThe Spanish Civil WarPicasso s Guernica Epistolary novelsFictional, poverty stricken monarchies with eccentric kingsThe League of NationsPolitical intrigue machinations1930s high society, scheming and scandalsCloudy weather with a chance of warCastle dwelling families The FitzOsbornes in Exile in particular is history heavy, but thanks to a plot that gains steady momentum, it avoids being dry or overly weighed down with the facts The high volume of information is counter balanced nicely by characters that are interesting and well drawn Recommended for history buffs and or people who like their historical fiction with a fanciful twist which sounds like a terrible oxymoron, but I promise it s not.
Audiobook read by Emma Bering.
This is book two in a series about the royal family of the fictitious island nation of Montmaray The title gives a pretty big clue as to what is happening, and the front leaf gives away what happened in book one to result in this exile The book is told as a series of entries from Princess Sophia s journal, and the family s experiences in England from 1937 to 1939.
This is a fast read, an easy young adult novel about the beginning of World War II The British social class of the late 1930s is described well, including the debutante season Cooper includes some real people i.
S Ambassador Joseph Kennedy and his family, especially daughter Kick and sons Joe and John Having taken refuge with their Aunt Charlotte, the young king and his siblings chafe at her insistence that they join society and make advantageous marriages They are muchconcerned with the very real political issues facing England and Montmaray as Hitler s German troops push his agenda I liked this one better than the first in the series The characters are better developed, and I enjoy reading about strong, resourceful, intelligent young people.
Emma Bering does a fine job narrating the audio book She has good pacing and enough skill as a voice artist to clearly differentiate the characters.
Michelle Cooper Combines The Drama Of Pre War Europe With The Romance Of Debutante Balls And Gives Us Another Compelling Historical Page TurnerSophia FitzOsborne And The Royal Family Of Montmaray Escaped Their Remote Island Home When The Germans Attacked, And Now Find Themselves In The Lap Of Luxury Sophie S Journal Fills Us In On The Social Whirl Of London SSeason, But Even A Princess In Lovely New Gowns Finds It Hard To Fit In Is There No Other Debutante Who Reads And While The Balls And House Parties Go On, Newspaper Headlines Scream Of War In Spain And Threats From Germany No One Wants A Second World War Especially Not The Montmaravians With All Europe Under Attack, Who Will Care About The Fate Of Their Tiny Island Kingdom Will The FitzOsbornes Ever Be Able To Go Home Again Could Montmaray Be Lost Forever This second Montmaray Journal explodes from the start, using Cooper s work in A Brief History of Montmaray as a fabulous jumping off point Sophie, Veronica, Toby, and Simon, now living in exile in England, struggle to make sense of a world in which World War II seemsinevitable with every passing moment Meanwhile, Sophie attempts to find her place in the debutante society of London and to understand the fast pace of the world away from Montmaray This book is packed full of historical events and ideas, and they are fitted into the story in a way that seems quite true to what it would have been like living in the late 1930s Sophie has grown into a fierce young woman, standing up for her family and country, all the while, carefully recording all the events that define the world around her I sincerely hope there arebooks to follow in this series from Cooper, as The FitzOsbornes in Exile only left me wanting .
Another fantastic installment to the Montmaray series Here, in book II, we find the FitzOsbornes living in England after their home island kingdom was destroyed and taken over by Nazi Germans The FitzOsbornes have many obstacles and decisions to face how to regain their beloved Montmaray how to help innocent children forced to flee their countries and seek refuge in England and how to do all this whilst not tipping off their stuffy aunt who is housing the FitzOsbornes and who controls all their money.
While this book isn t nearly as edge of your seat as the later half of the first book, I did feel it kept my attention, and the challenges, though less action y, were captivating and compelling in their own right and there was a large part of me that was delighted not to have to worry about nightmares after reading this book.
I still loved the characters Victoria is still strong but kind, Toby is still fun and cheerful though he does have his own bout of depressivness in this one and Sophie is still thoughtful and good The only thing that did sort of bother me is the constant back and forth with Simon I m never quite sure where we re supposed to stand with him is he good or bad or something in between And I m not sure if the confusion is supposed to be from Sophie s perspective, or if the author is trying to string us along But, for a family that s known Simon basically forever, it seems that there should be a bitconcrete perception of him or at least something less drastic I can t remember him ever doing anything really bad, and yet part of me would not be surprised if the author decided that Simon was the one who d tipped off the Germans and sent them to destroy Montmaray personally, I don t think this is where things are leading, but that s about the level of uncertainty that seems to float around the character Whichever way it does land, I hope things get settled or explained in the next book.
Speaking of the next book, I m definitely eagerly awaiting it I ve loved both initial installments and can hardly wait to find out what happens next in the lives of the FitzOsbornes