Here’s a round-up of interesting reads about royalty. (’cause why not? Doesn’t everyone want to know what it’s like to live like royalty?) This book list features both fiction and nonfiction, new titles and old favorites and we’ve even thrown in a few books for children. What are your favorite books about a king or queen? Post your answer in the comments below.
The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut’s Mummy
Since Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922, the public has had a thirst for any information about King Tut’s life and death, but that attention has not always been good for the mummy. His body has been subjected to tests, including an autopsy, x-rays, and DNA testing. His mummy has also been looted with some of body parts left in disarray. It’s been just over 90 years since King Tut has come to our attention, and it seems that the contradictions have only increased with each study. In The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut’s Mummy by Jo Marchant follows the journey of the mummy and tries to discern the data and the arguments between the experts. – Review by Christina Callison
The Emperor’s Soul
Shia was caught for her almost flawless forgery of a national masterpiece and sentenced to be executed, but was given an unusual offer to spare her life. Now an attempt had been made on the Emperor’s life leaving him in a soulless state of unconsciousness. The arbiters, who are running the country, want Shia to forge a soul for the Emperor to bring him back to consciousness. Unfortunately, reconstructing the Emperor’s soul must be accomplished in secret, and she has only one hundred days to complete her work. In The Emperor’s Soul, Shia is caught in political turmoil that could lead to her death or worse. – Reviewer Christina Callison explains why you’ll want to pick up this and other titles by the author in this online review.
Untold Story: A Novel
When Princess Diana died in Paris’s Alma tunnel, she was 37 years old. Had she lived, she would have been 50 when this book was published. Who would the beloved icon be if she were alive today? What would she be doing? And where? One of the most versatile and bold writers of our time, Monica Ali has imagined a different fate for Diana in her spectacular new novel, Untold Story. Diana’s life and marriage were both fairy tale and nightmare rolled into one. Adored by millions, she suffered rejection, heartbreak, and betrayal. Surrounded by glamor and glitz and the constant attention of the press, she fought to carve a meaningful role for herself in helping the needy and dispossessed. The contradictions and pressures of her situation fueled her increasingly reckless behavior, but her stature and her connection with her public never ceased to grow.
The Rhinestone Sisterhood
Hold on to your tiaras, folks, the competition for the coveted crown of Miss Frog Queen of Rayne, Louisiana is fierce. Even as a little girl Chelsea Richard dreamed of being Miss Rayne Frog Festival Queen. Welcome to the world of small-town festival queens where despite the wacky titles (Miss Tamale, Miss Gumbo, trust me the list goes on and on…) the competition is fierce and the expectations high for these young women who must represent and promote their town and/or industry with poise, grace, and knowledge. In The Rhinestone Sisterhood, author David Greenwood follows Chelsea and three other festival queens (Fur, Cotton, and Cattle) as they perform their duties as queens, from parades to frog kissing, glitzy balls to greased-pig catching, always with crown, sash, and smile firmly in place. – Read the full review by Julie Nelson.
10 Kings and Queens Who Changed the World
History is not created in a vacuum, and no leader comes to power without influences from the past and an impact on the future. In this look at ten royals, beginning with Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt and ending with Catherine the Great, each leader’s biography is linked with another based on influences, events, and geography. By uncovering these unique and often overlooked connections, history emerges as a chain of patterns and relationships, and readers will understand how these ten leaders shaped the course of human civilization. This is juvenile fiction recommended for 10 to 14 year olds, but we know of adults who love the graphics and stories by Clive Gifford too.
Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur, a Graphic Novel (for ages 12 and up)
The Arthurian legend springs to life in another powerhouse graphic novel from Tony Lee. Arthur Pendragon was raised in obscurity, but fate will not leave him to the shadows. In a moment of desperate need, he draws a legendary sword from its stonebed and commences the life he was born to lead. A series of adventures sparked by the elusive wizard Merlin launches Arthur through love and betrayal, domination and defeat, and toward the prophesied end awaiting him. Merging a faithful retelling with dynamic illustrations, Excalibur invites long-time fans to relive the legend and those new to the story to experience it up close in a vivid graphic adventure.
The Prince’s Bedtime
The cook brings cookies, the maid brings hot milk and the physician brings medicine, but the young Prince will not sleep in this picture book by Joanne Oppenheim. So the King and the Queen try an entire troupe of dancers, a mustached musician, a feather down quilt and even a cake! Still, the Prince will not close his eyes. Will the strange woman at the palace gate hold the key to the Prince’s slumber?