Written as a journal from the perspective of Princess Sophia, one of the few remaining Montmaravian citizens left on their storm battered island kingdom in the Bay of Biscay, this is a highly engaging beginning to a fantastic trilogy. Sophie starts her journal on her sixteenth birthday; it’s 1936 and we start to get hints of the impending war. It’s almost impossible to eke out an existence on their island home but the tone is not as sombre or bleak as you might expect – rather it is often light-hearted and whimsical. Recording their daily life, often in her secret code, Sophie details those around her; including her brother Toby, tomboy sister Henry, their cousin Veronica, and their insane Uncle King John – which makes for an interesting character mix. Personally, I found the second and third books – with their focus on the unravelling of WWII – even better!