The Lost Princess, Connie Glynn – Book Review

Hello Humans! If you’ve already watched my August TBR video you’ll know that I was a little trepidatious about reading the third book in Connie Glynn’s Rosewood Chronicles series. My biggest problem with these books to date is that they have felt incredibly queer bait-y and haven’t managed to do anything more than hint at the potential sexuality of characters in little inklings throughout the book.

While it is true that for many of the target readership of these books this may be where they are at in their own journey, figuring things out and getting to a point of maybe coming out, I just didn’t feel like the representation was there enough for me to love these books. So I went into The Lost Princess with that concern on my mind…

I think, to talk about this book properly, I’ll need to maybe spoil some things, so light spoiler warning.

the lost princess

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Together they are attempting to stay safe from Leviathan, a group determined to take the princess for unknown reasons.

When Leviathan force them to travel to their beloved Rosewood Hall’s sister school in Japan, the threesome find that nowhere is beyond Leviathan’s long reach. The only solace they find is a secret group called Banshee who are fighting against the organisation’s hold. But when long-buried secrets are uncovered, the lives of Lottie, Ellie and Jamie will never be the same again…

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Ok doky, where to begin with this one?

I think I should start by saying that I get where these books are coming from. I think. If the intention was for the plot of these books to be incredibly silly and to kind of plug that gap that comes between middle grade and YA with something whimsical that does go into more ‘older’ themes – mission accomplished.

With that in mind, you do kind of have to switch off the part of your brain that says ‘but that just wouldn’t happen’ when reading these books. There are situations in which these characters end up that feel almost cartoonish – if the bit in book two where they ended up in an icing sugar room in a chocolate factory (where no-one mentioned the food hygiene rating) bothered you then maybe skip this book – it’s not going to get any less ridiculous.

But if we embrace the ridiculous, if we ‘yes and’ the premise we’ve been given – does book three manage to be a good book?

I’m honestly not sure.

So much of this is impacted by the fact that these books are not to my personal taste – they ought to be, they are (at least a little bit) queer, they feature predominantly female characters, there’s a boarding school – it should tick at least a few of my boxes! So why do these books keep falling flat?

A part of it is, I believe, that I can’t quite come round to Lottie as the main character, so often she feels like someone that things happen to as opposed to someone who makes things happen. I do feel like that was beginning to be less of a problem in this book, which perhaps bodes well for later books, and I also felt as though more of the book came from perspectives other than Lottie’s  – which is a win in my book! Even with those changes, I’m not sure Lottie is my kind of heroine – so perhaps if later books focus even less on her I’ll be more inclined to read them?

My main issue with this story was the setting. Ok, we’ve done two books worth of Rosewood school, maybe you’re running out of ideas for hidden passageways and messages in that setting – so you need to change things up! Going to Japan is not necessarily a bad idea for a book…however…

It felt, at least as I read this book, that this was a very touristy view of Japan. They talk about Japanese mythology, fashion and culture from a rather western viewpoint that, to me, felt rather narrow. I’ll be interested to read a review from a Japanese reviewer because it’s entirely possible I wasn’t appreciating nuances in the story – but for my part, it felt like a shallow representation of a nation for the sake of a ‘cool setting’ for a story.

Maybe the same can be said of Rosewood Academy itself, but at least Glynn is English so it feels more like an exaggerated idea of English boarding school rather than something more…racially insensitive?

I think you can all see what I’m dancing around here…

If the tone of books one and two were to your taste then maybe you will enjoy seeing these characters in a third book. For me, I think this is where me and the Rosewood Chronicles part ways.

My rating: 2/5 stars

I received a free digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Lost Princess Publishes September 5th!

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What say you? Do you enjoy these books? Let me know in the comments below!

J

 

One thought on “The Lost Princess, Connie Glynn – Book Review

Add yours

  1. I’m probably going to read this one, but I’m very nervous about it because my feelings on the first two are so, so mixed but from the description they should be new faves of all time 😭. I definitely won’t be paying full hardback price, so I’ll hopefully come across it in the supermarket or I’ll wait for the paperback!
    Amy x

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