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Prisoner of Zenda (Gateway Movie Classics)

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Anthony Hope

'Hope's Rattling Yarn seems to live on and on, even if it is not a masterpiece of its genre like Rider Haggard's She; it has been filmed no less than five times. Rudolf Rassendyll and Rupert of Hentzau have become almost household names and the imaginary … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Anthony Hope
Publisher: Gateway Movie Classics
1 review about Prisoner of Zenda (Gateway Movie Classics)

A light, but fast-paced, old fashioned escapade!

  • Apr 16, 2001
No gravitas to this one, but it's a tale of action and high spirits, beginnning with a young English nobleman who bears an uncanny resemblance (as he is soon to find out) to the new king of a small (and fictional) European kingdom, Ruritania, due to an indiscretion of a female ancestor. The indolent, if honorable, Rudolf Rassyndyll, younger brother of the English Lord of Burlesford, takes a vacation in Ruritania on a lark (and for lack of anything better to do) and is soon swept up in political intrigue, obliged to masquerade as the king in order to save that royal gentleman's life, no less than his kingdom. But Rassyndyll finds he is not at all averse to the role, especially when he falls in love with the king's intended, the beautiful Princess Flavia. Then he must contend with his own sense of honor, no less than with his look-alike's mortal enemies, to bring the king safely out of the castle of Zenda alive while yet preserving the king's own heritage, despite his inclinations to the contrary.

A good tale, fast moving and written in a manner which in no way impedes the "read". I read it in a single sitting and enjoyed every page. Regretted it wasn't longer though. (Note that this tale is a sort of bridge between the older form of the 19th century historical romance, as practiced in Victorian England from Sir Walter Scott's time, and the more modern twentieth century political thriller. Lots of swashbuckling and derring-do and plenty of political intrigue as well. But, in the end, it's just an entertainment. You'll find no great depth here.)

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