Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Book review of The Pretender by Katie Ward

French Village Diaries book review The Pretender Katie Ward
The Pretender by Katie Ward

The Pretender 

France 2000: Two babies are born on the same day just two hours apart - but to very different lives. Isabella is a Princess and heir to the French throne, while Sophia is born into a life of poverty and abuse at the hands of her father. At the age of 18, Sophia runs away from home. That same night, Isabella is also fleeing from the burden of her royal life when she finds Sophia slumped at the palace gates. Amazed by how alike they look, Isabella proposes a daring plot - to exchange their lives for one week. 
‘The Pretender’ is an emotionally intense and compelling story of friendship, love and the strange power of destiny.

French Village Diaries book review The Pretender Katie Ward
The Pretender Blog Tour

My Review

I thought bringing back the French royal family, giving them a history, traditions and the palace in Fontainebleau, but setting it in the modern day was great fun and putting myself into a teenager’s head, I loved the idea of this book. Isabella, the princess who doesn’t want to be Queen, but just wants the freedom to explore Paris as a normal 18-year-old. Sophia, the pauper who suddenly finds herself a princess, living with a King and a Queen, totally unaware of life inside the palace, but safe for now from her father. 
Isabella is the instigator of the switch and the one with who holds the key to return but having waited all her life for the freedom of anonymity, will she find what she wants in just one week. For Sophia, living under the scrutiny of strangers, who are supposed to be your family, is not as easy as she thought, but her determination to not let Isabella down showed her resourcefulness. 
As their adventures continue, the naivety of their decision becomes apparent, followed by the reality of what they have done, and then the panic when the situation changes. It’s no longer a game, life becomes serious and events seem to be spiralling out of their control. 

This is a good fun read, that sensitively covers some important issues as well as highlighting the fact our actions have consequences, but does it have a real fairy tale “and they all lived happily ever after” ending? Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out. 

Author Bio

Katie Ward always knew she wanted to write for a living. However, she was told by her careers advisor that “it might be more appropriate for you to work in a shop”. When Katie didn’t get the grades she needed to get into college, she negotiated a three month trial. After successfully completing the course she secured a place at her first choice university to study Journalism. 
After realising she wanted to be an author, Katie moved to Dublin where she worked her way up from receptionist to Executive Assistant at Merrill Lynch. Katie continued to write in her spare time, submitting her short story into the “Do the Write Thing” competition being run by Irish TV show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in her favourite teen magazine. Katie was the only non-Irish author selected to have her story published in an anthology of the same name which reached 19 in the Irish Best sellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for a competition judged by MAN Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle which was run by Metro Eireann newspaper. 
Katie currently lives in Devon with her cat (aka ‘Her Royal Fluffiness’) where she sings in a community choir and has recently taken up Archery. Katie’s favourite author has been Roald Dahl since she was a child as she loves the dark edge he brings to his books. On the flip side though, Katie loves Disney, magic, unicorns and a good rom com film at the cinema with her friends.

You can find Katie at her website here and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

French Village Diaries book review The Pretender Katie Ward
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