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The Romance of the Princess Victoria - an Editorial Review of "Under His Spell"

Book Blurb:

A beautiful love story between the Princess Royal Victoria and Fritz Wilhelm, Frederick III of Prussia

A lonely young man attends the first World's Fair - the Great Exhibition of 1851 - and meets a family who changes his life forever.

Follow the young Prince Fritz - later Friedrich III - of Prussia and his wife, Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Vicky, (parents of Kaiser Wilhelm II) through their courtship and the joys and struggles of their first four years of marriage.

Fritz and Vicky dream of a peaceful united Germany, but Fritz's uncle Karl has his own dreams of power...

Discover often hinted at but unrevealed secrets of the Prussian Royal court...

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Author Bio:

Luv Lubker has lived in the Victorian era half her life, making friends with the Bronte sisters and the extended family of Queen Victoria. Now she knows them quite as well as her own family.

Born in a cattle trough in the Appalachian mountains, Luv lives in Texas - when she comes to the modern world.

When she isn't living in the Victorian era, she enjoys being with her family; making and eating delicious raw food, riding her bike (which she only learned to ride at 25 though she ridden a unicycle since she was 7), and watching animals - the passion of her childhood.

Editorial Review:

Fritz gazed about him as he drove through London with his parents and little sister, Vivi. Looking ahead, he saw several large buildings. That must be Buckingham Palace, he thought. The palace had a huge, square façade, like most of the town palaces he was used to.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert greeted them at the top of the staircase.

Come to the Chinese Drawing Room,” the Queen said in German, leading the way. Fritz lingered behind, not knowing where he fit in.

A little girl stood at the door, in a white dress with red bows, her long hair bound up in a net. She came forward and held out her hand to be kissed. Behind her were the other, younger children.

Vicky, Bertie, Alice, all of you, this is Prince Fritz of Prussia, and his sister Louise, or Vivi, as she prefers to be called,” the Queen said. “They are your guests. Vicky is to be hostess. You are to show him and his sister, Vivi, about the Exhibition when we go. Stay with Miss Hildyard and the guard on duty. Don’t get lost in the crowd. Make sure to speak in German so that Fritz and Vivi can understand everything. But you can go about together. When we do not go out, you can play together.”

History is not just about dates, battles, and treaties; it’s a tapestry woven with human stories, emotions, desires, and dreams. Luv Lubker's "Under His Spell" masterfully showcases this aspect of history, drawing readers into the intimate world of the Prussian Royal Court. Through her vivid storytelling, Lubker brings alive the touching love story of the Princess Royal Victoria (Vicky) and Fritz Wilhelm, Friedrich III of Prussia, set against the backdrop of political maneuverings, hidden secrets, and royal intrigues.

The compelling storyline will draw you in from the start. The setting of the book – beginning at the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was a nexus of technology, culture, and politics – serves as a fitting stage for the meeting of two young souls. Their journey from a tender courtship to navigating the complexities of married life is both riveting and deeply emotional. The dichotomy of their personal dreams and the heavy weight of political responsibility makes for a plot that is both moving and tense.

Fritz, we are going to the opera with your Aunt and Uncle, and then you and Vivi can stay at Osborne for a day while we are in London before we leave,” his mother said. The Queen and Prince Albert had told him and Vivi to call them Aunt and Uncle.

The opera?” Fritz asked reluctantly.

Yes, Fritz, it is a very nice opera,” said the Queen. “One I would even consider taking the children to.”

And I am going,” Vicky said.

No, Vicky, you are not, it is too late, and I have other matters to–”

But, you said you would take us to it,” Vicky said, stamping her foot.

No, I said that I would consider taking you to it; that it is suitable for you to see.”

But– I am the eldest, I have been hostess for Fritz and Vivi, and they want me to go, and…”

Vicky, obey me,” said the Queen.

Vicky stamped her foot again, and opened her mouth to speak. The Queen turned her back on her. “Go to bed, Vicky,” she said.

But the Princess Royal ought to go with her guests!”

I said no,” said the Queen.

Vicky burst into tears, and ran out of the room.

So she is a human being, after all, thought Fritz.

One of the standout features of "Under His Spell" is the depth of its character development. Fritz, depicted as a scarred young man, grows into his responsibilities and love, while Vicky, though initially naïve and hopeful, grapples with the harsh realities of her new life. The transformation in both characters as they confront their challenges is profound and believable.

This is also evident throughout the dialogue and the way the other characters interact with the main characters throughout the story. The book also maintains continuity, making it easy to follow.

The narrative flows seamlessly, maintaining historical accuracy while intertwining the personal stories of Vicky and Fritz. Lubker ensures that even though the tale spans years and covers myriad events, the central narrative thread remains taut.

The book is meticulously edited, ensuring a smooth reading experience. The formatting complements the historical ambiance, allowing the reader to delve deep into the era without distractions.

Without giving away any spoilers, the culmination of the story strikes the right chord, befitting the tumultuous journey of the protagonists. Whether it's a smile or a tear, readers are assured an ending that resonates.

While there have been many stories centered around royal courts and their intrigues, Lubker's unique perspective on the Prussian Royal Court, combined with the depth of her research, ensures "Under His Spell" stands out. The often-hinted but unrevealed secrets add layers of mystery, enhancing the overall reading experience. We feel for these characters, their ups and downs, their pains, and we want to see their happiness.

Fritz felt Vicky slump against his shoulder. He looked down at her. She had said she was tired, but he hadn’t expected her to fall asleep so suddenly. “Vicky?” he asked. There was no answer. She lay perfectly still. “Vicky?” He shook her gently, but there was still no response. He hurried to the door. “Call Wegner!” he called urgently to whoever was there.

Lubker's prose is both lyrical and precise, painting vivid pictures of the era while conveying the emotional depths of the characters. Her adeptness in merging fact with fiction makes for an evocative read.

The progression of the story is both organic and gripping. From the joys of young love to the trials of court life, the narrative arc is well-defined and satisfying.

"Under His Spell" by Luv Lubker is more than just a historical novel; it’s a journey into the hearts and minds of two individuals who dreamt of love and peace in a world riddled with power plays and hidden agendas. Drawing from real documents and letters, Lubker offers readers a window into a bygone era, making history come alive in all its passion, pain, and promise. Whether you're a history enthusiast or someone seeking a profound love story, this book is a must-read.


“Under His Spell” by Luv Lubker receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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