Review: The Rogue’s Princess

I received this book for free from YA Books Central in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Rogue’s PrincessThe Rogue's Princess by Eve Edwards
Series: The Lacey Chronicles #3
Published by Delacorte BFYR on January 8, 2013
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 258
Format: Hardcover
Source: YA Books Central

England, 1586

Mercy Hart, daughter of one of London's wealthiest and most devout cloth merchants, is expected to marry her equal in rank and piety. Certainly not Kit Turner, a lowly actor and playboy, who also happens to be the late Earl of Dorset's illegitimate son. But when a chance encounter throws them together, Kit instantly falls for the beautiful Mercy's charms . . . and Mercy can't deny the passion that Kit stirs within her. She seems ready to defy her father's wishes--ready to renounce her family and her family name for true love.

Then Kit finds himself accused treason.

Will Mercy have the strength to stand by him? Or will she succumb to pressure and break his heart?

First Sentence: “The moment the earthquake struck, Mercy Hart knew it was her fault.”

Eve Edwards’ Lacey Chronicles offer up historical romance for a young adult audience. I enjoyed both the previous two novels in the series, and was eager to break into this one. As with the rest of the series, The Rogue’s Princess is a quick, light, romantic read, full to the brim with love, betrayal, drama, and sumptuous clothing. This series is perfect for fans of light historical romance. Though this is a series, each novel stands alone well. There is no need to read all of them or to read them in order unless that is your wont.

The Rogue’s Princess features the illegitimate half-brother of the Laceys. Kit Turner works as a player on Burbage’s stage, a peer of William Shakespeare. I love that in the first chapter, we get a glimpse of Kit’s youth, when he tread the boards in women’s weeds as a young boy. Now fully grown, though, he plays the romantic leads, the young heroes.

Kit lives a life of drinking and flirting until the day he attends the same party as young Puritan Mercy Hart. She captures his heart at first sight, and he sways her easily with his charms. Their instalove does bother me a bit, but it fits the time, as courtship was a much faster process in those days, since people needed to get married and breeding as soon as possible. The two have several cute moments, and, while they’re not my favorite couple of the Lacey series, they are sweet.

Mercy runs more to the Fanny Price end of the heroine spectrum than the Elizabeth Bennet. What I mean by this, for those less familiar with Jane Austen, is that Mercy is shy, quiet, and endlessly determined to do right by God. She often doesn’t stand up for herself when I think she should, and her constant reference to prayers and sins made me crazy. For other readers, perhaps those who enjoy Christian fiction, this could be an asset rather than a negative, however. On the plus side, Mercy does gain in spirit as the story goes along, all while retaining her values.

The attempt to add historical weightiness to The Rogue’s Princess with Kit’s imprisonment for treason does not succeed. He is imprisoned for such a stupid reason (drinking once with people who spoke of putting Mary on the throne) and there is no question that he shall be found innocent in this sort of novel. I appreciate the attempt to make it more historical and less a romance, but I do not think it played out particularly well, especially in how easily it is resolved in the end.

Easily readable as standalones, The Lacey Chronicles consists of romantic stories set during the reign of Elizabeth I. The Rogue’s Princess will even have appeal for a Christian audience.

18 responses to “Review: The Rogue’s Princess”

  1. Shane says:

    Honest review.

  2. “full to the brim with love, betrayal, drama, and sumptuous clothing” ha! love it.

    This doesn’t sound like it worked very well. Not that I am going to read the series but I know that I wouldn’t like this Mercy person. I think she would really annoy me. Sorry this is your least favorite in the series. Even with the sumptuous clothing? How could it not be great?!

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, I mean it was fairly entertaining, but Mercy was pretty awful, and all the Christian and political themes were totally not doing it for me. It’s a classic case of trying to make a romance novel something more than a romance novel. Just let it be itself, okay!

  3. Audra says:

    Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper pretty cover. It almost has me convinced I want to read it…!

  4. Interesting. Admittedly I saw the pretty cover and immediately thought I WANTS NAO. But your review seems more positive than negative, or at least I expected higher than 2.5 stars. You’re good at emphasizing what you think others will like. Maybe I should read the first (thanks for linking back to your review!). I do like YA historical romance on occasion… 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Isn’t the cover pretty? Yeah, I mean, 2.5 isn’t exactly negative. It’s either books I was really torn on or books that I was sort of bored by but didn’t exactly like. My feelings on this one are super mixed. It was entertaining, but had a lot of annoying factors. I think the first in the series is the best one! There were no weird Christian themes up to this point.

  5. Demitria says:

    Great review! The cover has me hooked as well! Beautiful!!

    New follower…

  6. Kelly says:

    …since people needed to get married and breeding as soon as possible

    I’m dying right now. I don’t know if you meant for this line to be funny, but all I can picture are historical characters running around, jumping each others’ bones in those big, frilly dresses.

    I got a really good sense of how torn you were with this one. Your review reads quite positively, but you can still tell that you were trying not to let the negative shine through.

    • Christina says:

      I’m pretty sure I did mean for it to be funny. I like for things to be funny most of the time. It was sort of like that, only with the complications of many layers of clothing.

      Yeah, it’s hard when a book is easily readable and decently written, but the story doesn’t really grab you.

  7. The child in me perked up at ‘Princess’ in the tittle, but as I read your review but sadly this is classic historical romance not fairytale retelling or fantasy novel. Since you mentioned insta-love I think I am going to pass on this one, I like my romance to develop slowly. 🙂

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