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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Unintended King is a work of historical fiction set in the mid-nineteenth century, penned by author Donald W Bennett. In a lesser-known area of history, this fascinating story takes on the tale of two kings of Bavaria, one of whom is the father and the other his second-born son. Conrad, the son, takes the major role in this novel which truly tests the fortitude of the human spirit, whilst also exploring the brutality of war and the games which are at play when a high position of power becomes available to those who may be ruthless enough to grasp it.
Author Donald W Bennett crafts an excellent tale that is sure to please both fans of European history and those who enjoy royal dramas and war stories alike. The Prussian Push presents a brutal backdrop for the action of the tale, and when Conrad is sent to war, his life is unlike that of any pampered prince that one might first imagine from the novel’s setup. The historical details are well described to give the political and social ideology of the time, as Germany finds itself under threat to have a single king, and ordinary men try to live ordinary lives beneath the immense weight of this political pressure going on. There is a modern yet timeless sensibility to the storytelling which brings much realism and relatability to the story. Overall, I would highly recommend The Unintended King as an accomplished work of historical fiction.