Truxton King is the third of George Barr McCutcheon’s novels about Graustark, a tiny East European monarchy.
Graustark’s fairy-tale existence is threatened by forces making their presence felt worldwide at the dawn of the 20th century.
Truxton King by George Barr McCutcheon
Harrison Fisher, illus. Dodd, Mead 1909. 1909 bestseller #3.
Project Gutenberg EBook #14284. My grade: B-.
Graustark’s titular head is 7-year-old orphan Prince Robin. Three regents rule for the Prince.
The task of raising Robin belongs to his father’s American friend John Tullis.
Truxton King stops in Graustark hoping to find romance so he won’t have to settle down to “domestic obsolescence” when he gets back to New York.
King finds romance.
He also uncovers a double conspiracy: One is by malcontents intent on killing the Prince and establishing a socialist state. The other is by exiled “Iron Count” Marlanx to use the Reds’ assassination of the Prince to make himself king of Graustark.
McCutcheon develops his characters only to a level of realism suitable to fairy-tales. He covers that shortcoming by a story replete with secret passages, spies, double crosses, and dark-of-night adventures by the intrepid hero and the less intrepid, but well-informed, travel agent who aids in his escapades.
The novel’s strength is its weakness: Abhorrent topics are treated with a light touch so they don’t seem abhorrent at all.
©2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni