Sunday, January 25, 2009

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Death disturbed the night. The Sound of squeaking wheels grew louder, as did the clicking of horse hooves scraping across cobbelstones.

Title: Aurelia
Author: Anne Osterlund
ISBN: 9780142405796
Publisher: Speak/2008
Pages: 246

Aurelia is a princess who is next in line of throne. The King discovers that someone is trying to kill his daughter. He does not tell his daughter about the assassination attempts. Robert, a former classmate of Aurelia is assigned the job of unearthing the plot and people behind it. He has a tough job as he can't talk about it to the princess.

At every step Aurelia tries to escape the palace at one guise or other. She is more a commoner than a princess. She wants to know the problems of her kingdom. The people have been rendered poor because of more and more taxes levied by the King. The King has to do it to please his second wife, Elise's extravagancy. Aurelia is against it but she can't do any thing about it unless she inherits the throne. And she has to find a nobel person to marry too. She is not keen on marrying anyone her father choses for her.

So for so good. The starting is good, the premise is what really made me want to read it. Who really wants her dead? The people of her kingdom love her dearly. Only someone who is closer and gains by her death can wish for her death. Who is it? Robert does unearth it all. However, the king is not ready for any scandal and he wants Aurelia to keep quiet about the whole thing. This is what completely weakened the story. How can someone who wants her dead go scotfree? What compulsion does the king have to save that person? Most important, why does Aurelia simply give in? She is brave, with so much of wit and guts. So why? I found the ending so very wanting. I would have thought Aurelia to rise above it all. Rebel against her father's wishes and reveal the culprit for all. But....