The Prince Commands - Discussion
I like this book. AND I don't re-read it often. [Leans over, and pulls the book from the shelf.]
I'm moving this to the short pile next to the comfy chair.
Which copy?  


Paper back... TOR 1983

It's on the pile to be read next.
I just read the review. 


I certainly didn't see that "sub-plot" during any of my earlier reads of this book. 

I'm only a chapter in right now, so barely on the train to adventure.

I note that using a tiny country, that you and I couldn't find on any map, is a 'trope' used by a number of Hallmark Movies.  
One would think that the mountains around Switzerland were still riddled by city-states. [these all seem to be land locked countries.]

I'll keep reading.  Should finish before tomorrow morning.
Well. I've read the book through and don't see Judith Tarr's primary conclusion at all. And she seems to have a couple of minor plot points wrong.

It's a fun book. It was published in 1934 when the Communists weren't the great evil that they became 30 years later.
In the 1930's "The Germanies" had been united for 50 years, and for the sake of a good novel, a small pocket kingdom could have been left autonomous and out of the collection. There is a similar small fiefdom in The Sword Series (only part of the Netherlands). Horses would be a primary form of transport in a hilly region, lacking in good roads, though with train service.
I think that Margery Allingham used a similar plot for her Albert Campion MYSTERY MILE published in 1930.

Michael Karl is always called "Michael Karl" even though from the first I assumed that Karl is his family name. Which when the book ends, we just find out that each are one of his several names.

1) Judith Tarr states that "The Colonel" is Michael Karl's uncle.
I don't find the word uncle anywhere. Guardian, yes.
The General's refusal to bring the colonel with them is confusing. But that character is dropped, and never heard from again.
So we don't know "who died and put him in charge."
2) The Werewolf isn't a party of communists. It is part of the big plot, that his people will be called such. His people are just a group of peasants and drifters who are loyal to their country and the ruling house.

In the story of Michael Karl's life, as told to him by his cousin, his parents are dead, his only paternal uncle is dead, and by the laws of the US his maternal grandfather must also be dead, else Michael Karl would have been in his guardianship.

On the whole: We have a young boy, age 18, who has never been allowed to have ANY friends, who has now embarked on an Adventure, which is dirty and uncomfortable, but speaks to some inner pirate in the boy. He meets an American, who's age is not discussed, but probably between 22 and 25, (Rather the age of Rupert in RALESTONE LUCK) who he becomes friends with, and perhaps the subject of hero worship. Or at least the type of hero worship young men might have had at school. Michael Karl isn't uncomfortable when a young woman talks to him, not because she is a woman, I think it's because he's embarrassed, never having talked to a young woman before.

In the end he finds Family. that's the most important thing anyone can find.
(March 23rd, 2020, 08:17 PM)Irene Wrote: Well. I've read the book through and don't see Judith Tarr's primary conclusion at all.  And she seems to have a couple of minor plot points wrong.

Well that there be the problem. A whole lot of Tarr's reviews state bad conclusions, and plot points that I never see.
"Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted"
Andre Norton's website -
Maybe little stuff, like the Colonel being an uncle, are a difference in the version that she read?

As for her major conclusion about the relationship between Ericson and Michael Karl. I find it amusing, but I disagree.

MYCode Guide

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