by Katie Ward
France 2000: Two babies are born on the same day just two hours apart – but to very different lives. Isabella is a Princess and heir to the French throne, while Sophia is born into a life of poverty and abuse at the hands of her father. At the age of 18, Sophia runs away from home. That same night, Isabella is also fleeing from the burden of her royal life when she finds Sophia slumped at the palace gates. Amazed by how alike they look, Isabella proposes a daring plot – to exchange their lives for one week.
‘The Pretender’ is an emotionally intense and compelling story of friendship, love and the strange power of destiny.
I love a modern twist on classics, but an author has to be careful to make the retelling their own, and Katie Ward definitely made this book her own. It’s an adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, and Ward added her own flair to it to make it completely original.
Sophia and Isabella were born into two different worlds. Both feel trapped in their lives but for very, very different reasons. Sophie feels trapped by her abusive and neglectful parents, not knowing how she will ever escape them. She has some respite in a boarding school, but she will soon be returning to the horror of her parents. Isabella was born into royalty as a princess. She has opportunities that Sophia could only dream of, yet she feels trapped by the expectations placed on her. She can’t be an ordinary girl, going to movies or traveling on a public train. One fateful day these two girls will cross paths and go on a journey neither expected.
I always love a story about self discovery, and both of these young girls are on a journey to discover who they are and just possibly find a love they weren’t expecting. This book doesn’t just have one strong female but two.
I highly recommend reading this one if you like enchanting royal tales or a modern twist on a classic. This was quite a charming, enjoyable read!
Purchase from Amazon UK
Katie Ward always knew she wanted to write for a living. However, she was told by her careers advisor that “it might be more appropriate for you to work in a shop”. When Katie didn’t get the grades she needed to get into college, she negotiated a three month trial. After successfully completing the course she secured a place at her first choice university to study Journalism.
After realising she wanted to be an author, Katie moved to Dublin where she worked her way up from receptionist to Executive Assistant at Merrill Lynch. Katie continued to write in her spare time, submitting her short story into the “Do the Write Thing” competition being run by Irish TV show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in her favourite teen magazine. Katie was the only non-Irish author selected to have her story published in an anthology of the same name which reached 19 in the Irish Best sellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for a competition judged by MAN Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle which was run by Metro Eireann newspaper.
Katie currently lives in Devon with her cat (aka ‘Her Royal Fluffiness’) where she sings in a community choir and has recently taken up Archery. Katie’s favourite author has been Roald Dahl since she was a child as she loves the dark edge he brings to his books. On the flip side though, Katie loves Disney, magic, unicorns and a good rom com film at the cinema with her friends.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/KatieWWriter
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KatieWWriter
Website – https://katiewardwriter.com/
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