I just finished another book yesterday, called The Lost Prince, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is about a boy named Marco Loristan, and his quest around the world to tell people in the secret rebellion “The Lamp is Lighted”, meaning ‘Start the Rebellion’. The rebels want to overthrow the king of Samavia and re-appoint the rightful ruler.
Marco is a very smart boy, being a traveler, he knows how to act in other countries, never pretend you’re a tourist, always pretend you’re a local. While in England, he meets a crippled boy called The Rat. Marco’s one flaw is that he is compassionate, which isn’t really a flaw if you’re a regular person, but Marco isn’t a regular person. One day while out in England, Marco sees a woman with a sprained foot. He helps her to her house, where she asks for a book to read while she sits down. Marco goes upstairs, and when he comes back down, the woman is standing up. He is baffled, but then the woman reveals a man, who is an enemy of the rebellion. They interrogate him, but Marco, strong-willed, refuses to reveal anything. Even when they threaten to throw him in the pitch-black basement, he still replies “I know nothing.”
They throw him in the basement, which is basically a prison, because who has a really small room with no lights and a prison door? He sits down, reminding himself that he can think himself a way out of this predicament. He knows that yelling will do no good, because he is so far underground (again, who builds these things?). He makes his way around the room, getting a feel for his surroundings. He decides to take a nap, when suddenly the woman comes back, tells Marco that she and the man are leaving town immediately, and leaves, but not before throwing Marco the key to the door. Marco fumbles around in the dark, eventually finding it, getting out, and calling for help.
After this, Marco and The Rat begin on their quest to tell random people 4 words. They travel to many countries, each person being surprised that Marco is delivering the news. The final person, who is a priest, tells Marco that his father is the rightful king. Marco is shocked, but makes his way back to England, where his father goes off to a rebellion war that they win VERY quickly. His father comes home, and everyone lives happily ever after.
There’s not much character development in this book, Marco just uses his quick wits to travel over Europe telling people to start a rebellion, then randomly figuring out that his father is the king.
Ok, so here’s a big plot hole: This takes place somewhere in between 1910 and 1915. If telegrams were invented in 1832…. And telephones were invented in 1876…. What’s stopping Marco’s father from just telegraphing/calling everyone to start a rebellion?
The Secret Garden was so much better…