Read The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett Online

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Where was the prince? They must see him and tell him their ultimatum. It was he whom they wanted for a king. They trusted him and would obey him. They began to shout aloud his name, calling him in a sort of chant in unison, "Prince Ivor--Prince Ivor--Prince Ivor!'' But no answer came. The people of the palace had hidden themselves, and the place was utterly silent....

Title : The Lost Prince
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140367546
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Lost Prince Reviews

  • Wealhtheow
    2018-11-25 20:57

    Marco is a 12 year old boy raised by his father and his father's devoted servant. They live in dingy little rented rooms that are visited by secretive gentlemen. They travel constantly, and Marco has been trained since birth to pass as a native of any of the countries in Europe. When a crisis hits, Marco needs all of his training and devotion to his father.This is a romantic tale, not in the sense of love but in the sense that it's a fantasy of how European feudalism works, a bit like The Prisoner of Zenda crossed with the Scarlet Pimpernell. The men are all Real Men, women are Real Women, and all the classes instinctively know and hold to Their Place. The lower classes feel an innate, uncontrollable devotion to those who should justly rule them. The upper classes are natural leaders, who always know the right thing to do. Marco's every word and movement betrays him as someone who should be obeyed. Supposedly, people's eyes follow him down the street and they exclaim in wonder at his regal bearing. (His lower class friend, by the way, literally begs to be allowed to polish his boots.) This is basically the boy's version of The Little Princess, except that Marco is macho where Sarah is girly. In both, they are big-eyed children with thick dark hair who are devoted to their papas. They are characterized by their imaginations, high intelligence, bravery, and innate poise. After a childhood spent accepting service as their natural due, cruel and foolish people force them into isolation and poverty. And yet, their inborn abilities allow them to rise above those who would destroy them, and they triumph in the end by being richer and more powerful than before. Even complete strangers are excited by their triumph, because they so obviously, naturally deserve wealth and power. I found it all revolting. I'm used to the gender essentialism in Burnett, but she really goes all out in her classism. It's such an obvious, contrived fantasy, and I really lost all patience for it early on. I probably could have borne it better if Marco hadn't been so perfect (even Sarah Crewe gets a moment of frustration--but Marco always thinks and does the right thing), if the big plot twist (view spoiler)[Marco is the lost prince! surprise! wasn't so obvious, or if the spiritualist subplot hadn't been so dreadful. As it was, I forced my way through only by reading the worst passages aloud to my roommates so we could cackle at them together. (hide spoiler)]

  • Sineala
    2018-11-23 22:12

    Okay, so this book is in many respects mediocre and completely obvious, but it is a hilariously good time.(Possibly it is only so hilarious because it is obvious to everyone except the titular lost prince who he is.)Marco Loristan and his father are exiled citizens of the fictional European country of Samavia, currently living in London. Samavia has been undergoing civil war since the disappearance of their rightful king hundreds of years ago. (If you have not correctly guessed the identity of the lost prince by about twenty-five pages in... well, let's just say you're about as oblivious as Marco. Marco's father is the kind of guy people spontaneously want to salute, okay?) Marco meets a street urchin by the name of The Rat, and, what luck, he's just as obsessed with Samavia as Marco is! Everyone is obsessed with Samavia! Whee!This book is basically an unashamed love letter to monarchy and nationalism and has a lot of people throwing themselves on their knees and begging to be allowed to serve people and pledging their lives to the cause of restoring the true king to Samavia. I don't think we're allowed to write fiction like this with all of our earnest unironic hearts anymore. Which is a shame, because it's awesome.Marco's father sends them both on a spying mission across Europe where they have to pass on secret phrases about the rebellion. You would think the plot would actually involve some intrigue, but the rival spies who are the source of intrigue kind of just disappear, and mostly we get the whirlwind tour of stately European cities while everyone they meet who recognizes him prostrates themselves before Marco. (Please note that the identity of the lost prince has still not occurred to Marco. And it gets even more ridiculous than that. I had to put the book down because I was laughing at Marco so much. More than once.)Overall: Hooray! Hooray Marco and the Rat! This book is hilarious fun and you should read it if you like hilarious fun. Even if you are an adult.

  • Michele
    2018-11-24 20:03

    An excellent read, though maybe a little clean and tidy by modern standards. For once Burnett has given her protagonist a loving parent, if perhaps a little too good to be true. The elements of Eastern religion are woven into the story in an interesting way, and it's nice to see a story focused on non-white non-Western characters (Marco and his father Stefan are from the fictional East European country of Samavia, which was small but happy and prosperous until it fell into civil war). I suspect that might have been unusual in Burnett's day.I found myself wishing this had been written for adults. I'd have liked to see the themes explored in a fuller, more complex way, and the relationships -- both between the two boys, Marco and The Rat, and between Marco and his father -- followed into Marco's adulthood. There was room for a LOT of expansion in both cases.The book is part swashbuckling adventure, part meditation on leadership/friendship/patriotism, part object lesson on how much potential goes unused for lack of education, and part illustration of the resilience of childhood. The Rat in particular is a fascinating character, unlike any other I've encountered in a children's book: fierce, proud, a kind of military savant whose innate expertise is recognized even by Marco's father, desperate for a mentor and a purpose to his life.(Warning: The Wikipedia article on this book has a summary of the entire plot including the ending, so don't go there if you don't want spoilers!)

  • Sarah
    2018-11-23 17:56

    This is a solid gold book by the genius who wrote the Secret Garden.It features:a 12 year old military geniusa quest, with crutchesa noble honest and true prince and his faithful snarky smart companionsomeone nicknamed The Rat who is a dreamboat and a military genius!... oh no, I see I've made a fatal mistake, all is discovered, look, don't arrest me, I was much younger when I first read it.

  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    2018-11-21 18:09

    Thanks to Librivox.org and Susan Umpleby, the reader, for this audiobook version of a classic. I bought a copy of the (abridged) paperback edition and read it several years ago. Librivox has recorded the complete, uncut edition which includes a great deal more philosophy and mysticism than the paperback. I usually hate abridged editions, but this time I think they were onto a good thing. Burnett was a follower of Christian Science (which is neither Christian, nor science, as is often the way of such things). Many of the pronouncements about "the One" and the "two laws" that she puts in the mouth of "the old buddhist" on the hilltop are actually rewordings of CS doctrines.Published in 1915, the book draws on contemporary events in the Balkan nations. Growing up in the Midwest in the 1960s, I remember an overpass on the way out of my small rural town was painted with the phrase "Croatia must be free." Asking my elder brother, a soldier, who Croatia was and why he was in prison led to an interesting conversation! But I digress, as I am wont to do.The conversation stuck with me and helped me understand the book. Apart from its historical roots, there is also a definite messianic/second-coming feel to the story, with its Lost Prince of Samavia that is eagerly awaited for 500 years by the Secret Party who meet in caves (catacombs, anyone?). Two young boys, Marco Loristan who is a Samavian patriot, and the Rat, his East End London companion. Marco is very much a Gary Stu, as is his famous father (famous among the secret supporters of Samavia, anyway). His very face and deportment give him away as Someone Special, not to mention his prodigious memory, ability to speak at least 10 languages and control his reactions, physical prowess, and oh yeah--talent for drawing. However, he doesn't have much "street smarts" (odd, having grown up living in bad lodgings in backstreets all over Europe) so he needs the Rat. Why, you ask? Well because these two boys, both about 12, are off on a secret mission to spread the message of the Lost Prince's second coming. The Rat is lame, but that doesn't stop him for a moment! Also, though we are repeatedly told that the Rat (sorry, he's never given another name) can't speak anything but English, somehow he manages to participate in conversations in other languages, particularly Samavian, and particularly toward the end.I would say that kids about the age of the two boys might enjoy the adventure story, but do give them the abridged version. All the mystic waffle doesn't add much and they'd probably be turned off by it. Apart from that, it's very much a pro-royalist Boys' Own Adventure Story, though the term "patriot" reads very differently today than it did when this was written. I found the foreshadowing obvious in the extreme, but kids probably wouldn't.

  • Laura
    2018-11-23 23:18

    This was a beautiful and powerful book. This book has earned a place of honor on my bookshelves. I want all my children to read it! It is a classic of the first class! This book is heavy duty on the reading and vocabulary, many youngters of today would have a hard time getting into it at first, but once they understand where the story is going, I bet they won't be able to put it down! So many things to learn from studying this story: What it means to be a man, the influence of a good Father on a young boy, what an education is, how to prepare for your future mission while still young, how to keep a child unspoiled, honest, & good, how to be a true friend, the meaning of loyalty, the power of a purpose, the true face of greatness, etc, etc...I could keep going. This book is very Romantic & idealistic, so sweet & innocent. It reminds me of Gene Stratton-Porter's works. The story swept me up. I stayed up to read this book till midnight...just a few hours before I gave birth to baby #6!My absolute favorite thing about this book was the tender relationship between the son and his father, and how they welcomed a stranger into their home and successfully made him a part of their family. It was so inspiring to see how "The Rat" changed from a homeless ruffian into a refined, loyal, courageous companion.I also love that this book embraces the concepts known to today's modern society as "The Secret" or the "Law of Attraction". I was completely fascinated that Frances Hodgson Burnett was so familiar with the life changing principles of the magic of positive thinking. But I guess that is also the main theme in "The Secret Garden" and "A Little Princess". I wish this story of hers was as well known as the previous two. What those two famous books have done for girls for the last century, The Lost Prince can do for young boys. Read it first...then give it to your sons to read! You'll be so glad you did!

  • Emily
    2018-12-07 23:09

    Marco Lorestan, the hero of this story, is the lesser-known brother to Mary Lennox and Sara Crewe (and I guess Little Lord Fauntleroy, which, unbelievably, I have never read). I've always wondered why so few people have heard of this book, because Burnett's other stories are so famous, and the theme, about a clever, odd, out-of-place child coming of age in trying circumstances is very similar. It might be because all the characters are male and Burnett is not an especially convincing masculine writer; I think it probably also has a lot to do with the political overtones of the plot, which centers around the restoration of a fictional Eastern European monarchy. The story is engaging and exciting as always, but feels a little more legendary and less realistic than her other books, as it follows Marco and his friend Rat on an undercover mission across Europe to alert a secret society of Samavian patriots that the time has come to bring the Samavian royal line out of hiding.

  • Monika
    2018-12-01 22:03

    I had a feeling it would be great and I wasn't wrong. It was a very pleasant novel. I like almost everything about it: characters, places, adventures - all are very interesing.I admit that the plot is very predictable but it didn't bother me. I could easly connected with the story and characters. Young Marco is lovely. He has also this beautiful kindness, gentleness and wisdom which make him even more interesting as a child character. Also his father is a very strong character. And I felt sympathy for Marco's friend who is called Rat. I like the way they were all presented in the book. Very rational, logic, simple but at the same time you just knew they are the lucky ones. The ones that will succeed in their life beyond belief, which also make them a little bit unreal, though.Plus, probably the journey through Europe wasn't really believable but I did enjoy it. I like it overall. Brilliant story.

  • Chrissie
    2018-12-03 21:58

    This book is hardly known, and yet it to is written by the author of The Secret Garden. It was not the plot that engaged me, when I read it years ago, but how I felt for Marco and the Rat. I was in their shoes. When they were hurt, I was hurt. When they were happy, I was too. The author made me, a child, feel complete empathy for these two fictional characters. I wonder if I would love it so much now, but for me then, it was one of the best books ever written. That is why I have given it 5 stars.

  • Marklessgirl
    2018-12-03 19:15

    it's clean and all, but I can't get into it. And so made it 40%, which was what I was trying for. I may go back to it, but I doubt that I will

  • Grace
    2018-11-13 18:16

    When I first bought my kindle, I wanted some books on it, but I didn’t want to pay for them (since I had just spent a bunch on the kindle). I was going through the free book list on kindle, and I saw some books by one of my favorite childhood authors, Frances Hodgson Burnett. Of course, I grabbed The Secret Garden, just to have it, but I also downloaded a book of hers that I had not yet read, The Lost Prince. (It’s still available for free on kindle, by the way.) The main character, Marco, is a boy (early teens) who lives with his father in a poor area of London. The pair is in exile from their home country, Samavia, which is in political turmoil. Marco’s father, Stefan, has raised him to be a patriot, even though Marco has never been to Samavia. Marco meets and befriends a crippled boy known only as “The Rat.” Together, the two boys imagine fighting for Samavia and concoct intricate plots involving restoring The Lost Prince, a mythical figure who is the rightful heir to the throne of Samavia. By now you have probably guessed the “big surprise” of the book. Nonetheless, I’ll continue the review. It is impossible for me to review this book other than with reference to Burnett’s other, better-known books that I loved as a child: The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and A Little Princess. The common theme of these books is a child in wretched circumstances who, by the end of the book, is in a situation better than could have ever been imagined by anyone anywhere. This book follows that same pattern. The difference is first that there is no suspense whatever. Second, the children in her more popular books (at least the girls) grow through their difficulties. Marco is perfect throughout the book, so he isn’t very interesting. The Rat is much more interesting, but he is never allowed to be more than a supporting character. The other major flaw in the book is the intrusion of some strange religious beliefs. Burnett herself was a well-known religious seeker, especially after the death of her oldest son. She was, at different times, a Christian Scientist and a spiritualist. The religion that crops up in this book wasn’t recognizable to me, but it had to do with a spiritual source of power known as “The One” and implied (perhaps Buddhist?) doctrines of peace, fearlessness, and destiny. There are sections of the book that go into these beliefs in an almost sermon-like way—not quite as bad as Ayn Rand, but nearly so. In spite of the problems I’ve mentioned, I found myself caring what happened to the boys and looking forward to the revelation of the “secret” which every reader knows from the first few pages (or before, if you have read this review). The real payoff of Burnett’s books is the ending, where “happy” would be a severe understatement, and this book didn’t disappoint. I was reading the final few chapters while on the elliptical, and in spite of my exertion, I actually found myself with chills at one point. Any book that can give me chills must have something to recommend it! Bottom line: Don’t read this book until you have read her better books that I mentioned earlier. If you still haven’t got enough Burnett, this one is fine. It would be fine for kids, as long as you don’t mind your kids praying to The One now and then.

  • Juliana Es
    2018-12-05 20:09

    As much as I love Secret Garden and A Little Princess, the same can't be said for this novel. It is okay, but I think it stretches far too long and moves a bit too slow. Burnett, I'm afraid, did not create a convincing strong male protagonist in the form of a twelve-year-old boy, even though she did inject good characteristics that not only I'd love any children to have, but myself, too.I'd willingly reread A Little Princess and Secret Garden word by word anytime, but not The Lost Prince. The plot is very interesting and would have made a great story, but I wish the author would hurry up the pace a bit. Sometimes her description seems repetitive, as if she tried so hard to convince us about the main characters' good traits. The story is not bad at all, but it's not on a par with the other two famous novels.

  • Laura
    2018-12-13 18:07

    Has not aged wellWhile I have read and loved the little princess and forgiven any classism a and imperialists because of the time it was written in , I find that the list prince does not carry enough enduring qualities to remain a book lived and still read. It is the story of a boy and later his best friend, who , along with his father want to free a small European country from a cruel despot. And science this was written before WWI the way they want to do so is to restore the rightful king to his throne. There is much talk of patriotism and being soldiers and being of the upper class though now poor. And because I could never really care I couldn't feel much tension. The protagonist gets endanger perhaps twice. So if you love the little princess don't pick this up thinking this might be the male version of this. Read the secret garden instead. .

  • Brenda Clough
    2018-12-13 14:52

    If you are a Lord Peter Wimsey fan, then you remember in HAVE HIS CARCASE when Harriet Vane settles down in the boarding house and, instead of writing her novel, reads romantic novels? This must be one of the novels she read. In which a young man, raised in the most unpromising of circumstances, nevertheless exhibits innate nobility and royalty and finally steps forward to take the throne. This plot almost cries out for parody, but in fact it's quite serious (like a similar work, GRAUSTARK). Just relax and go along for the ride. Do not bother thinking about politics, funding, the UN, Communism, socialism, the rise of fascism in Germany, or any of the other issues that dogged the 20th century. This is a fantasy novel in the purest sense of the word, as fantastic as THE WIZARD OF OZ or LOTR.

  • gina
    2018-12-14 19:06

    somewhat predictable but cute story of a boy working for a cause greater than himself.

  • Christa
    2018-11-13 18:52

    Perhaps my estimate of the this book is influenced by how emotionally connected I am to the characters so settle in for a bit of a story. When I first read this book it was simply because I knew to increase my vocabulary I needed to read classics as they tended to have more stimulating vocabulary that the other books in the sections of the library for my fellow 8th graders. I, being tired of finding books that bored me senseless, was rather wary of starting The Lost Prince. As I began the book I noticed that Marco, our young protagonist, was 12 just like me. I thought to myself how lucky this was that I was reading about someone my age instead of reading about 19 year old girls being married off to some 50 year old man or random white men who did random white men things. Of course as I say this I know full well that some of my favorite classics have plots like this but still, it was refreshing to read about someone as young as I was who held the same fascination with the world as I did. Little did I know, this refreshment would soon turn into loyalty and love that only someone who truly falls in love with books can understand. To read The Lost Prince as an 8th grader who feels like they have no place in the world and to find that there is life and beauty and deep passion and loyalty that can be found through storytelling and travel and the desire to commit your everything to the cause of truth was like taking in a deep breath of fresh air for the first time. After I started to realize that this book was like this, I practically absorbed the words by sucking in every sentence. The amount of times that the bell rang at school or my mom called me to dinner and I didn't hear because I was high in the mountains or low in the slums of England are too many to count. However, there is more to my adoration that my simple love of connecting to a character just that time that I read it. It was hardly a thought that I even imagined to be odd until I stepped back and analyzed what I had said the second time I read The Lost Prince. It was quite a while after the first time reading it because I read the Harry Potter Series which led me into a whole new bunch of books. I was 13 when I read The Lost Prince the second time. As I opened the book I remember thinking distinctly, "Oh Marco has turned 13! It's been so long, I wonder how he's doing!" It was not until I continued reading and read that he was, in fact, still 12 that I realized that this character did not grow alongside me. That thought shocked me for some odd reason. Then I realized that Frances Hodgson Burnett had created a character that I related to so fully and loved so deeply that I actually expected him to age with me (completely ignoring the fact that The Lost Prince was definitely not set in 2012). That had never... NEVER... happened before. And keep in mind that I was, and still am, and avid reader. That feeling that you know someone so well that when they speak you can feel the same fire burning in your own chest is a feeling that breaks down the idea that a book is an object. It is a life that bleeds into your own. It is a passion that ignites a fire in your breast and puts life in your veins. I am 17 now and even writing this review makes me fall in love with this book all over again.So basically for the tl;dr version: this book is freakin' amazing and you should read it because the values are fantastic and Marco and Rat are precious and Marco's father is so awe inspiring and you will want to walk around and be just as awesome as them after you read it... yeah...

  • Gloriamarie
    2018-11-13 19:13

    One is either a fan of Burnett's or one is not. I am a fan. And while the melodrama may not be for everyone, I loved it.This book is about Marco Loristan, his father, and his friend, a street urchin called "The Rat". Marco's father, Stefan, is a Samavian patriot working to overthrow the cruel dictatorship in the kingdom of Samavia. Marco and his father come to London where Marco strikes up a friendship with a crippled street urchin known as The Rat. The friendship occurs when Marco overhears The Rat shouting in military form. Marco discovers he had stumbled upon a club known as the Squad, where the boys drill under the leadership of The Rat, whose education and imagination far exceeds their own.Stefan, realizing that two boys are less likely to be noticed, entrusts them with a secret mission to travel across Europe giving the secret sign: 'The Lamp is lighted.' Marco is to go as the Bearer of the Sign while The Rat goes as his Aide-de-Camp (so-named at his own request).This brings about a revolution which succeeds in overthrowing the old regime and re-establishing the rightful king. When Marco and The Rat return to London, Stefan has already left for Samavia. They wait there with his father's faithful bodyguard, Lazarus, until Stefan calls. The book ends in a climactic scene as Marco realizes his father is the descendant of Ivor Fedorovitch and thus the rightful king of Samavia.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-12 15:16

    Wonderful Story I think this is a great book. I love the solemn, important feel it gave. So far, I have loved all of Francis Hodgeson Burnett's books; I love how they all focus on children. I loved the descriptions she gives of the various places. It makes me feel as if I were traveling there myself.It is true, you can pretty well guess the ending early on, but then again, the mere title of the book would make you guess, so I do not think it took away from the story, especially when Marco himself did not know. It is also true that he is a bit slow on the uptake, but he is used to knowing only what he needs to know, and not thinking or asking anything further. All in all, I thought it was a charming little book, well worth reading, and hope others will enjoy it as much as I did.

  • Catricia
    2018-11-19 16:05

    When I first discovered this book, I wondered why it wasn't as popular as some of Burnett's other works - The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy. Upon reading it, I realized it isn't quite ready for modern audiences - particularly due to her insertion of Secret-esque philosophy that preaches to the reader in several instances - but it has great potential if it could be rewritten and reworked. The disabled protagonist, daring spylike adventure and a far-off country at war give the otherwise dead tale sparks of life that someone needs to blow on to start a fire.

  • Rachel
    2018-12-01 17:03

    I should stop reading reviews for beautiful old children's classics like this one, because I enjoy them so much, but it seems the rest of the world is cynical. So is it predictable? Is the main character Too Good To Be Believed? Of course. But sometimes that's part of the charm. I love old books, and I wish there was more quality literature like it today.

  • Michael
    2018-12-07 23:18

    This was like a mystery adventure novel for 9 year old boys, in which there's no adventure, and the mystery is made so obvious in the first few chapters that you want to throw the book at a wall, except I listened to the audio version on my phone, and I wasn't going to throw my phone.

  • Erica (ricci.reads)
    2018-11-22 16:04

    Unexpected Spiritualist teachings from Edwardian children's author.I have such a weakness for the writing of Frances Hodgeson Burnett, her insight into the imagination of a child is always a pleasure, never anything less than sophisticated. I enjoyed this a great deal (although The Secret Garden will remain my favourite.)

  • Adelle
    2018-11-29 19:59

    This story was wholly original. Even so, I could tell what was coming at the end. In some ways it was a bit repetitive. While it was a good book, her other books were more engaging to me.

  • C Cain
    2018-11-29 22:17

    one of my favorite books Need to know author name so as not to be confused with another title of same name

  • Eileen
    2018-11-14 20:01

    A sweet book, and fairly predictable, but I did enjoy it. I really like Burnett's books.

  • P.S. Winn
    2018-12-07 21:01

    Where is Prince Ivor and what will those who want him to be king do if he isn't found. The author always tells a good tale and takes readers into adventure.

  • CJ Andrian
    2018-11-18 23:06

    It was great and all, but it wasn’t as fun to read as Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, or The Secret Garden.

  • Kat
    2018-11-16 18:01

    This has been my least favorite entry so far on my epic Frances Hodgson Burnett marathon. That isn't to say that the book is terrible, just that it is problematic and clumsy in contrast with the rest of FHB's work. FHB's works -- including this one -- both show and tell that good people are primarily the result of good nurture rather than good nature, and have many characters of high social standing who are as strictly principled as they are because they are so aware of both their power and their visibility; all well and good. The creepiness in The Lost Prince is much less due to the main characters or story, as to the essentially religious reverence with which Marco, his father, and the "Lost Prince" Ivor are treated. The Rat was my favorite character, but the way he acted towards Marco went, in my mind at least, from "defeat equals friendship" to "boy crush on his father" to "actual crush on Marco" to "...and also really wants to be dominated. Okay then."I understand that it's a Ruritanian Romance written for 9-12 boys (and to be fair, there is a lot of off screen political maneuvering that is alluded to, but not written); I love inexplicably incredibly charismatic characters; but for pity's sake, Jesus Christ as written in the actual Bible was received with more variation and nuance! The "Secret Party" may have been working towards the return of the "true kings" since they were deposed, but majority of peasantry seems to have been doing nothing but wait. Seriously? This country is in basically constant civil war for 500 years and never once does another country step in to curb stomp them or a completely different group take over or...anything? 500 years and the descendants of Prince Ivor never had a chance to step in?Even putting that aside, it's not that great as an adventure novel. The tension builds for the first 2/3rds of the book, but then just kind of fizzles out. There's very little action. And another thing -- the female spy only shows up twice, both breaking the Rule of Threes. Not that it's a strict writing rule, but she and her partner were the only human antagonists, and the points at which they showed up led me to expect them again -- especially considering the way that Marco escaped in their second appearance. I was really expecting them to show up in Vienna and throw another hurdle at the boys -- the biggest yet -- possibly even giving The Rat a chance to shine. (He was woefully underused once they started traveling.)I would have considered this to be an early, clumsy attempt by FHB to espouse her personal moral philosophy in fictional form, except that it's actually one of the last things she published. There's a reason this one has been largely forgotten: it's among the best of neither the author, nor the genre. A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and A Lady of Quality and His Grace of Osmonde are really much better.

  • Wayne Walker
    2018-11-26 18:50

    Marco Loristan, twelve years old, has just moved to shabby quarters at No. 7 Philibert Place in London, England, with his father, Stefan Loristan, and their manservant Lazarus. The three have lived in many places, including Moscow, Paris, Munich, and Vienna, because they are refugees from Samavia (a fictitious eastern European country). Some 500 years before, the last legitimate king of Samavia was killed, and his heir, Prince Ivor Fedorovitch, mysteriously disappeared. The “Lost Prince” of Samavia had become a legend over time, and as the country experienced civil war between the Maranovitch and Iarovitch factions, general unrest, bloody revolutions, poverty, and political instability, many were hoping that Ivor’s descendent could be found and made king. Marco’s father is a Samavian patriot working in exile to overthrow the cruel dictatorship in the kingdom of Samavia and restore their home country to its former peaceful glory.In London, Marco meets “The Rat”, a crippled, hunchback street urchin who is fascinated with all things military and has a brilliant mind in his weak body. The two soon become friends, and together invent “The Game” where they make up schemes to form a Secret Party all across Europe that works behind the scenes to find the Lost Prince and re-establish peace and prosperity for Samavia. When the Rat’s father dies, he ends up living with the Loristans. Then the Game turns into reality, and the two boys embark on an adventurous trip throughout Europe, from big cities like Paris, Munich and Vienna, to tiny mountain hamlets, even to Samavia itself, as “Bearers of the Sign” to tell certain people that “The Lamp is lighted.” Along the way they have to deal with spies and other dangers, and when they finally get back home, Stephan is gone. Is there really a “Lost Prince”? If so, who and where is he? And what will happen to Marco and the Rat?Any boy (or girl, for that matter) who is a good reader and likes stories of mystery, suspense, adventure, and international intrigue, will enjoy this book. It moves a bit slowly at first and there is a good deal of geographical description, but it picks up and becomes more exciting as the boys travel across Europe giving the secret sign. What I really like about the characterization is the nobility—not physical nobility as in kings and princes, but moral nobility as in Marco’s devotion to duty, loyalty to friends, and perseverance. Author Frances Hodgson Burnett is best known for The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Little Lord Fauntleroy, but I think that The Lost Prince of Samavia is better—in fact, one of the best novels that I have ever read. Most editions sold today are lightly abridged versions marketed under the title The Lost Prince. Either way, it is classic tale of kindness, courage, patriotism, and family love.

  • Gabriela
    2018-11-18 18:17

    In this book, Hodgson gives the child protagonist a wider scenario for action and it doesn't work as well as her stories set in only one place.The problem is that this adventure ends up being too plain and long. There isn't real excitement, danger or challenges for Marco and The Rat. They don't even have to run against the clock. I didn't feel any tension or suspense.Honestly, the mystery was extremely obvious that it made me wonder why a smart boy like Marco didn't guessed it.The Rat's boy crush was funny at the beginning but soon grow repetitiveIt seem a wasted opportunity not to develop the different places and customs of the countries they visited. Sorry to disagree with Stefan, but I find it hard to believe that it would be safer for two boys to traverse Europe than for adult men, they had too much luck. In the end, we didn't even found out what was the role of their message in the great scheme and how it contribute to the return of the lost prince.I liked the description of the fictional country of Samavia and its typical Eastern European history. The problem is that the portrayal of the civil war and its terrible consequences was mild to say the least.A part of me feels that I should rate it with one star because it's mediocre in terms of originality and development. Saying it's a children book isn't a valid excuse, it's been a while since I read it but I remember that another Marco had a better story in Heart by Edmondo de Amicis. Even so, Hodgson has a way to make her characters endearing, so one more star because I liked Marco and Stefan.I'm still surprised by the authors' insight in psychology, it gives a modern feel to the book and it also appeared in The Secret Garden.P.S The Rat and The Squad were English, wouldn't their alleagiance to Samavia be treason? I didn't like the casual mention to Marco's mother and it came far too late.