Katie is a modern teen, who finds it hard to get on with her peers, and likes nothing better than camping out under her bed with her books. After falling asleep whilst reading one day, Katie suddenly finds herself in Victorian England, under a sofa in Buckingham Palace.
The majority of the book is a historical adventure. Katie is discovered by Princess Alice, the young daughter of the Queen, and then by James, the son of the royal doctor. Whilst trying to work out how Katie has gotten there, and finding a way home for her, they uncover a plot to assassinate the Queen. The three young people learn to work together, to find all the answers.
The historical aspect is handled really well, especially the descriptions of The Crystal Palace, which was built for the 1851 Great Exhibition. It lead me to find out a little more, and anything which encourages further reading/ research in children has to be good!
The adventure part of the story does run all the way through, but it picks up more in the second half. It was during this second half that I found myself drawn back to the book much more.
Towards the end of the book, the issue of Katie’s time travelling is explored in greater detail, as the books strays into the realm of science fiction / fantasy. For me, this aspect of the book didn’t work quite as well as the historical and adventure aspects. However, if the author hadn’t explored this issue, I’m not sure how Katie’s existence there would have been explained. Plus, of course, in the days of the like of Dr Who, this aspect will probably actually be welcomed by young readers.
The Queen Must Die is the first in a new trilogy, and I understand the main characters will be returning. I’m certainly interested to see where the author will take the story in the next book, and I will be encouraging my daughter to take a look too.