No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf. Written by Eva Ibbotson. Romance and intrigue make this lyrical historical adventure an unputdownable read! When a British millionaire sets out to buy a secluded fairy tale castle set high up on a rock above a beautiful lake he finds that its heiress is missing. Meanwhile, the heiress herself is enjoying a secret life working backstage at the Viennese opera.
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Return to Book Page. The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson. Spring, Tessa is a beautiful, tiny, dark-eyed princess - who's given up her duties to follow her heart, working for nothing backstage at the Viennese opera. No one there knows who she really is, or that a fairy-tale castle is missing its princess, and Tessa is determined to keep it that way. But secret lives can be complicated, and when a wealthy, handsome Englishman di Spring, Tessa is a beautiful, tiny, dark-eyed princess - who's given up her duties to follow her heart, working for nothing backstage at the Viennese opera.
But secret lives can be complicated, and when a wealthy, handsome Englishman discovers this bewitching urchin backstage, Tessa's two lives collide - and in escaping her inheritance, she finds her destiny. Magic Flutes is an enchanting story of love, music and secret princesses from Eva Ibbotson. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 30th by Speak first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Reluctant Heiress , please sign up. Reader Age range? Ella Doyle I think from ages 12 upwards. See 1 question about The Reluctant Heiress…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Reluctant Heiress. Alright, I really like this author but enough is enough.
I think I have read too many of her books in too short of time. Heck, I think I could write one of these books. Hmm, here goes. Impoverished adorable female heroine who, despite very bleak odds, is still the happiest, calmest, sweetest girl on the block. It doesn't matter that her parents hate her of she has no money, her beauty shines through the mess her life is in. Rich, tall, dashingly attractive man comes on the scene.
Has all the mon Alright, I really like this author but enough is enough. Has all the money he could ever ask for but is looking for love in all the wrong places. Is strangely attracted to the "beauty" who is not beautiful but has an elegance about her. Yadda, yadda, yadda, two hundred pages later, come conflicts and then the last page of the blasted book: Young girl and dashing man declare their feelings and ride off into the sunset.
I'm so sick of last pages declarations. View all 3 comments. Jan 04, Jenne rated it it was amazing. It's a ridiculous confection, but not a wispy meringue or an overdone croquembouche.
It's like Layer upon layer of substantial deliciousness that is almost but not quite too much, and best enjoyed with a strong cup of coffee. Or like I did, in a hot tub I volunteer to find out. Shelves: romance. When I flipped through the book at the library the cover told me this was the story of beautiful dark eyed princess who has shrugged off her royal duties and taken up the life of theatre and how she meets and falls in love with a handsome and rich English businessman.
For me atleast the story isn't so much about romance really. Atleast, not one of those heady romances where every other page is filled with detailed descriptions of the heroine's face. No, this was less of romance and more of, well When I flipped through the book at the library the cover told me this was the story of beautiful dark eyed princess who has shrugged off her royal duties and taken up the life of theatre and how she meets and falls in love with a handsome and rich English businessman.
No, this was less of romance and more of, well more of, I can't say what exactly. It's a lot of everything to be sure. Putzerl, or rather, Princess Theresa belongs to a more progressive branch of royalty. She is a staunch republican at heart and after the war she is one of those who fiercely support the end of royalty.
She believes that art is the path to equality and music, something much bigger than all of us, is what will show the world that all of us are equal and royal titles don't matter at all. She is dedicated to art and so, informing her aunts, she sets off to Vienna where she takes up the job of a stage hand at the International Opera Company to serve the art she so believes in.
When Guy, a successful English businessman, simultaneously buys Putzerl's castle and then hires the opera company to perform in it Putzerl's two worlds meet. But really, that's not the main bit of the story. As I said before, it's not about one particular thing or the other. It has a lot of stuff going on. It's about the peculiarities of royalty, the ridiculous snobbery and almost childlike obsession of the royalty to stick together and not give into being common.
The royals aren't a bad lot really. Honestly from Eva Ibbotson's writing they seem this childlike group of terribly old Prince and Princesses secure in their absolute belief that Royalty will survive and their infantlike joy and interest in each other's family trees and lineage.
It's about Vienna, the wonderful city which lives and breathes music with names like Beethoven and Mozart associated with it. Ibbotson's story describes the city, it's splendour, it's streets, people, sites and history in every page, dropping off nuggets of information about the history and royalty in every paragraph and dialogue till unknowingly you learn as much and sometimes more about the city itself as you do about the characters.
Vienna isn't just the setting of the story, it seems to be a living breathing character and perhaps the most important of them all. In every single paragraph there's an interesting little tidbit about the making of a famous building, or the marriage of some king, or what a famous artist did said or composed while in the city.
All of it makes you want to put down the book and grab the first tickets to Austria that very moment. It's about art. The one other thing that seems to be as important a factor as the city and it's royalty in this book is music and the opera. There are pages and pages on the antics that go on backstage at the theatre, the superstitions of the performers, their dreams and hopes, their fears and failures and eccentricites, the bailiffs, the pressure of performance, the rush to grab the audiences attention, the scarcity of money The opera and it's inhabitants once again form a tidy little group of childlike adults, each more eccentric than the last and as a whole a not entirely unadorable little troup.
And then, only then, is it about any romance at all. But I loved the story. Every single last bit of it. Eva Ibbotson is one of those authors who leave you begging for more and I highly recommend anyone and everyone with an interest in art, music, history or theatre to pick up the book.
View 2 comments. Feb 15, Melissa rated it it was ok. Update: I finished I just couldn't get into it. And it wasn't even the random big words see earlier rant below. I just didn't really care about these characters. And there was so much in this book that didn't seem to fit quite right or that just felt like filler. I really doubt I'll ever read anything by Eva Ibbotson again. Just a quick note I'm only 40 pages in and I'm a bit annoyed with the author.
She could Update: I finished She couldn't use "abusive" and "healthy"?
The Reluctant Heiress
Share on:. They could hardly be more different. Guy was a foundling, abandoned as a newborn baby in Newcastle in the early part of the 20th century. Tessa is an Austrian princess, born around the same time. Guy was brought up by the likeable, and decidedly working class Martha Hodge. Tessa was brought up in a castle with an army of servants. Tessa grew up in luxury; Guy had to fight to survive.