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Updated: November 8, 2010 16:50 IST

History meets fantasy

NIMI KURIAN
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Katie wakes up to find herself transported to Victorian England. The adventures she gets into are exciting.

Katie Berger-Jones-Burg loved to read. Her favourite book was the letters of Queen Victoria's daughters. Her preferred place to read was under the bed. So that's what she did one evening when she got back from school. She crawled under her bed and began to read. Then she felt tired, yawned and went to sleep. But the funny thing is she woke up under a sofa in a palace! In a palace! Can you believe it? And if you thought waking up in a palace was surprising enough then imagine waking up in the past as well!

Katie woke up to find two gray eyes looking at her, under the sofa. “Have you come to kill my mother?” asks the person behind those gray eyes.

But more than anything else, Katie finds she is very badly dressed. Her uniform, a gray pleated skirt, long green socks and a white blouse causes Alice to gasp in shock saying, "Goodness, did they take your clothes away?"

Then there is a case of Leopold's strange 'bleeding' disease. Katie who has come in from a different time knows it is haemophilia. While the royal doctor thinks the blood needs strengthening, Katie tries to tell them that the problem lay with the blood and the fact that it would not clot.

Things are definitely getting mysterious. It is only much later she learns that ‘gray eyes' is actually Princess Alice, the daughter of Queen Victoria. She also gets to meet James O'Reilly, son of the royal doctor.

But it's not a gracious lifethat she is expected to live in the palace. There is work for her to do. There are people about with a mission. And Katie is a part of that mission. Only, she has no clue what it is all about.

Until one day Katie, Princess Alice and Jamie discover that there is a sinister plot to assassinate the queen. They have to prevent that from happening. But in doing so they trip upon another dark mystery…more terrible than the assassination.

But that's not all. There is the prince's private secretary. Bernando DuQuelle. The description of the man is not really favourable. "DuQuelle was a tall man with jet black hair and a strange pallor, as if his skin was powdered. his eyes were hooded and his nose was hooked."

Can she trust him? Has he got a message for her? Could he be the answer to the great mystery that has become a part of Katie's life?

K.A.S. Quinn in her book The Queen Must Die takes the reader through the history of Great Britain under the rule of Queen Victoria. It is a story where history meets fantasy creating a perfectly irresistible plot. The plot is well laid out and is thrilling enough to make you want to sit up reading it through just to find out if all goes well in the end. Simply written the story races ahead of you.

THE QUEEN MUST DIE, Chronicles of Tempus by K.A.S. Quinn, Atlantic

Keywords: Book Worm

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