Ruritanian Novels

  Ruritanian Novels
  (Suspense and Intrigue) -
  Contributed by Karyn Silverman

About the Ruritanian Novel

Alexander, Loyd. Westmark. 1981. New York: Laurel-Leaf Books-Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1982 - 16-year-old Theo, a printer's devil (apprentice), has led a simple existence. But when he accepts an unlicensed printing commission and his master is killed as a result, Theo finds himself drawn into a world of intrigue and adventure with the swashbuckling charlatan Count Las Bombas, Musket the demon coachman (a dwarf), and a street urchin names Mickle, who is far more than she first appears. (An ALA Notable Book, and an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. Other titles in the series: The Kestrel; The Beggar Queen.)

Hope, Anthony. The Prisoner of Zenda. 1894. New York: Puffin Classics-Penguin Books, 1984 - The original tale of Ruritania. Rudolph Rassendyll, an English gentleman distantly related to the ruling family of Ruritania, visits that country to see the coronation of Rudolf V. But when the king is taken prisoner by his brother, the wicked Black Michael, Rassendyll, who looks extraordinarily like the imprisoned king, must assume the king's position to keep the throne safe, while attempting to foil Michael's plots and restore the rightful king. (Other title in the series: Rupert of Hentzau.)

Peters, Elizabeth. Trojan Gold. New York: Tor Books, 1987 - When a mysterious bloodstained envelope containing a picture of the fabled gold of Troy - which has not been seen since the second world war - arrives, Vicky Bliss, a museum curator with a nose for trouble, is drawn into a mystery. With the help of a dashing art thief and her excitable boss, Vicky sets out to solve the mystery, never imagining the danger that will follow. (Other titles in the series: Borrower of the Night; Street of the Five Moons; Silhouette in Scarlet; Night Train in Memphis.)

Pratchett, Terry. Feet of Clay. New York: HarperPrism-HarperCollins Publishers, 1996 - A murderer is stalking Ankh-Morpork, and someone is poisoning the patrician. Commander Sam Vimes of the City Watch, a hard-boiled policeman who persistently believes in justice even in a world where even the assassins are controlled by a guild, is determined to find out what's going on. With his loyal band of men (not to mention trolls, dwarves, and werewolves), he sets out to solve the mystery. (Other titles in the series: There are currently 24 Discworld novels and - happily - no end in sight, so I am listing only the titles featuring City Watch. These are: Guards! Guards!; Men at Arms; Jingo; The Fifth Elephant.)

Pullman, Philip. The Tin Princess. 1994. New York: Random House Sprinters-Random House, Inc., 1996 - When Becky was hired to teach German to "Miss Bevan," she never expected to find herself traveling to Razkavia as interpreter for a queen. And if that is not challenge enough for a young girl from London, the king is killed during his coronation, and Becky, along with London detective Jim Taylor, must do all they can to keep the Queen and the kingdom safe from trouble both inside and out. (Other books in the series: Rubie in the Smoke; Shadow in the North; The Tiger in the Well.)

Stevermer, Caroline. A College of Magics. New York: Tor Books-Tom Doherty Associates, 1994 - Faris Nallaneen, 18 years old and with a temper to match her flaming red hair, has been banished to a French boarding school by her wicked uncle, who may be plotting to take Faris' place as ruler of Galazon. But her uncle Brinker didn't read the school brochures carefully enough; along with excruciatingly perfect manners, Greenlaw college specializes in teaching magic. (This book is not a part of a series; however, Sorcery and Cecelia, co-written with Patricia C. Wrede, takes place in the same alternate history, where things are almost like our world except that magic exists.)

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This page last updated May 11, 2001
© 2001 Daphne Jorgensen. All Rights Reserved