Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Raising the Griffin

Raising the Griffin by Melissa Wyatt, 2004

Tabloids and "people" sections of newspapers chronicle the lives of the rich and infamous. In a country that rejected a monarchy more than 200 years ago, why are we so interested in the lives of "royals?" It seems I see Prince William's visage on the cover of some publication almost every week.

Melissa Wyatt examines what it is like to be the subject of that paparazzi. Alex is a happy British teenager who enjoys his school and loves his horse. He has always known that his father is the "would be" heir to the throne of Rovenia but that country has been under Communist rule for decades. When the people of Rovenia vote to restore a constitutional monarchy and Alex's father agrees to assume the throne, Alex must leave is old life behind in order to become Prince Alexis.

He is resentful and resists his family's "duty first" attitude. The country is impoverished from years of Communist control and war so his beloved horse must be left behind.

The book is a realistic look at life behind the castle walls. This is not a "prince's diary." There are hysterical and adoring crowds, the threat of assassination, and the daily battle with his tutor DeBatz who is trying to teach him about his country and his duties.

Alex is unprepared for his attraction to a Jet-Set princess who has him in her cross-hairs. He is an innocent in the high stakes world of tabloid journalism and pays a high price for his missteps. Alex must ultimately make a decision about his life, his future and his identity.

I picked up this book in a high school library and found I could not stop reading it. As a grown up, Alex's attitude was a little wearing but I think teens will identify with the confusion and conflicting emotions Alex is experiencing.

It made me reflect on the price that royals and celebrities do pay for their lives of privilege.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Oh! This looks like a really good one, Camille. Thanks for posting a review.