Title: Princess at Heart
Author: Connie Glynn
Published: 16th February 2021
Synopsis: Return to the magical world of The Rosewood Chronicles in the fourth book of this gorgeous series, for fans of The Princess Diaries and Harry Potter.
Ellie is a rebellious princess hiding her real identity.
Lottie is her Portman, acting as the princess for the public to shield Ellie from scrutiny.
Jamie is Ellie’s Partizan, a lifelong bodyguard sworn to protect the princess at any cost.
Lottie, Ellie and Jamie are back for another year at Rosewood – but nothing will ever be the same again.
They’re still reeling from their discovery that someone rather close to home is leader of Leviathan – the group determined to take the princess down at any cost.
Together they must piece together clues to Leviathan’s evil plans. But this is far from simple – especially as an undercover Leviathan agent is now attending the school.
Friendships are at stake, families must be reunited and hearts are at risk of breaking . . .
Jamie, Ellie and Lottie are back at school – and continuing with the premise that Lottie, not Ellie, is the Princess of Maranova. Set in a fantasyesque Europe and our world, the Rosewood Chronicles world of intrigue and secrecy continues as the trio are recovering from their trip to Japan and finding out the leader of their enemies is closer to home. Yet things are fractured between the three, and Lottie feels that Ellie is pulling away from her. As Lottie finds out her family home is being sold, and her position as Ellie’s Portman – as well as standing in as the princess to protect her- is under threat and soon she may not have a home.
Ellie is grappling with her need to take up her identity as a new school year begins, and the secrets that swirl around her family, and rumours of someone close to home being a threat. Even Jamie, her bodyguard, has secrets and begins to find out more about his own identity – and what this will mean for the future of the kingdom and his friendship with Ellie and Lottie.
Set in contemporary times, this book explores royal intrigue, and the issues surrounding the interactions between the main characters, the other students, and the various royal families and royal advisors. It gives an insight into what might happen in royal families in a dramatised way for a young adult audience, akin to The Princess Diaries (I noticed a little nod to Genovia in this book, and quite liked it). The characters are allowed to be themselves as well, navigating teenagerhood, school and the trials and tribulations of friendship, family and various emotions that come with being a teen – anywhere in the world.
The diverse cast of characters is done well, each allowed to be who they are, though I’ve not read the first three books, so my impressions are based on reading the fourth book. I found it easy to read and grasp what was happening, but at some stage might look into reading the first three to see what happens in them.
For much of the book, the secrets are hinted at, and teased, until the final third roughly, where we start to see the emergence of the reality of what has been happening and what has been said. It is a fun, light read that is entertaining and a great take on the role of princesses and royalty in literature. I enjoyed the support Binah gave Lottie as well – it was pure and delightful, and showed that Lottie had friends and an identity beyond pretending to be the princess and being her Portman.
A great read and one that will be loved by new readers and current fans of the series.