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The Heart of Princess Osra

Anthony Hope

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Rudolf's horse, and [pg 40] a third for Rudolf himself; and he drank a draught of wine, and called to Rudolf to accompany him, that they might see for themselves what the lazy hounds of Guards were doing, that they had not yet come up with the quarry. Prince Rudolf laughed and yawned and wished his brother at the devil, but mounted his horse and rode with the King. Thus they traversed the city, riding swiftly, the old King furiously upbraiding every officer and soldier whom he met; then they rode to the gate; and all the gate-wardens said that nobody had gone out, save that one gate-warden admitted that two apprentices of Stephen the silversmith had contrived to slip out when the gates were open to let the troopers pass. But the King made nothing of it, and, turning with his son, rode up the street where Stephen lived. Here they came suddenly into the midst of a crowd, that filled all the roadway, and would hardly let the horses move even at a foot'. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Entertaining, but repetitive. Clear Victorian era writing with the scanned illustrations showing late 1800's attire while the story setting was supposed to be 1730s or earlier. Interesting and little twists in the story endings made it delightful to read.

a series of short romances, revolving around the pulchritudinous Princess Osra of Ruritania and the many, many people who fall in love with her, that she falls in love with, or who try to sneak a kiss to win a bet. the writing is of the standard you'd expect from Hope, but the plots are a little...more

A bit on the misogynistic side, with the Princess paying emotionally for not understanding love. But also quite violent, as many of the men pay for the Princess's mistakes with their lives. Also lacks the wit of Prisoner of Zenda, with few of the characters being likable. Osra's brother Rudolf is...more

An amazing companion to the Prisoner of Zenda and its sequel, this book contains short stories about a princess who lives about a century before the famous events of Zenda. I only wish I read this while I was still at school, when I studied the Zenda novel!

This book is so depressing that it's actually funny! In every chapter, another poor man is dying, being murdered, committing suicide, going insane, about to be hanged as a criminal, or dying of some horrific illness because his heart is breaking for love of the beautiful Princess Osra. All these...more

I read many very bad reviews of this one before trying it. And I have to say that they've all been true. Fictional 1800's Europe has never disappointed me more. I will recommend this book only for people who want to read the Prisoner of Zenda, the second book in this series. But, please, please,...more

This Zenda prequel is written well enough but still fairly unlikeable. Osra is young, a little vain, and constantly besieged by men who've been literally driven insane by her beauty. There's only one case where she directly participates in something unkind, but the whole set of stories are treate...more

This novel, a prequel to "The Prisoner of Zenda" which establishes some of the kingdom of Ruritania's history, is the weakest (and most politically incorrect) of the Ruritania trilogy. Osra is beautiful and intelligent, but knows nothing of love. Despite this, every man she meets falls madly for...more

A beautiful collection of short stories, revolving around the central character of Princess Osra, that are combined together into a novel. Each story is full of passion and adventure, and the reader will be glued to each and every page.

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