The Prisoner of Zenda tells the story of Rudolf Rassendyll, an englishman with not much of a past to be recounted and who is essentially a slacker. His sister-in-law keeps bugging him to get a job. Instead of doing so, he decides to go on vacation. Family rumor has it that someone in his family was actually illegitimate - secretly the child of a noble of the small kingdom of Ruritania. So he decides to go to Ruritania.
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Barely when he arrived he runs into a hunting party in the woods. To everyone's amazement he looks just like on of the men in the party - the new King of Ruritania. This leads to a warm welcome, and a hearty party at an inn that evening. Unfortunately, the true King falls victim to drugged wine sent by his cousin the Duke, who has aims on the throne. When the King can't be woken the next day, his men insist that the protagonist, due to his amazing resemblance, play the part of the King and be crowned in his place. He agrees, reluctantly, with the idea that immediately after the coronation ceremony, the real King will be picked up, after having slept it off. Unfortunately, again, the real King gets kidnapped by the Duke, and it looks like him is in for an extended stint as King... he gets some quick lessons in statecraft - and of course, there's also a beautiful princess Flavia... The story revolves around how he saves the king and places his responsibilities first ahead of his heart.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved this story because of its good plot. Its nice and fresh, in sweet, clean English. Like a sorbet, it's a perfect palate cleanser between more modern books. A light little entertainment, that's a lovely diversion for a lazy afternoon.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is when the two lookalikes face each other at first.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked his sense of responsibility and ability to take mature decisions.