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The Prince Commands

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Raised in America, Michael Karl learns at eighteen that he is heir to the throne of Morvania, a Balkan kingdom threatened by revolution and by the sinister Werewolf, a mountain marauder of more than human reputation whose followers may be less than human.

The moment he arrives in Morvania, Michael Karl is plunged into seething plot and counterplot, and deadly danger. His d
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 15th 1983 by Tor Books (first published 1934)
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Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2013
For whatever reason, I went in thinking this was SF... well, it isn't. In fact, it barely qualifies as a fantasy – the only fantastical element being the setting, it being one of those made-up Eastern European kingdoms. I did some research (i.e. Googling) when I finished the novel, and it turns out that this is actually Andre Norton’s first book. I know – fail on the SFF history front.

Anyway, once I figured out what I was getting into, this turned out to be a very fun, very Ruritanian adventure.
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this back in the 80s when I was in college but I remember it fondly. One reason for the fondness is that it is easy breezy reading after a day with tech manuals and hardass profs. Nothing unexpected happens, a prince in disguise returns to reclaim his throne. A nice story to relax and escape into and that's a good thing.
I should say I TRIED to read this, but couldn't slog my way through it. According to Lin Carter, this was actually the 1st book Norton had published: Ralestone Luck was reworked and published second, though it was written first.

I remember this book as one of the genre referred to by Dorothy L Sayers as 'Ruritanian Romances'--like The Prisoner of Zenda, but not even as good as that. But I can't be sure, because it's been a long time since I read it, and little stuck with me.

Now that I've got hol
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Very much a boys' adventure story, first published in 1934. The sprinkled in references to things that she probably recommended as a children's librarian, and/or enjoyed herself, are interesting: Rudyard Kipling, Quentin Durward, Graustark, Desperate Desmond (a 1910s comic).

I read and re-read this many times, and I liked it so much that I delayed reviewing it for er ... about 10 months. Embarrassingly close to a year, because I knew I had to let the fog of glee die down a bit. I re-read it agai
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
Ruritanian romance without any sense of romance at all.

It includes most of the elements I'd expect from the genre, but it also lacks the emotional weight of The Prisoner of Zenda and its better imitations. The protagonist is only involved in a few key points and spends too much time having the rest of the plot explained to him.
Sandra Munger
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-norton
One of her books for a younger audience. Michael who was raised in America and very strictly finds out he is heir to a European throne. Against his will he is shipped there and has adventures involving revolution. The young man he friends is also involved. Good adventure story.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
Another writer I've been meaning to read for a long time. This, I believe is her first published work, and a great place to start.
A fine, fun little "Ruritanian romance"!
Some years ago I lived in a large village which had a small library. I spent hours down there, gradually ploughing my way through almost their entire fantasy and sci-fi collection. They were easy to spot on the shelves, since virtually every one of them had a bright yellow slipcover. Yet for some reason I never read any of the "M" or "N" authors, so this has actually been the first ever Andre Norton novel I've read.

This is a rip-roaring boy's own adventure type of thing, as Michael Karl discover
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This modern day story is a turnaround for Sci-Fi great Andre Norton. In this story, Michael Karl is your average student whose world turns upside down when he discovers that he is a "rex" - offspring of a dalliance between a Moravian Prince / Heir Apparent and an American woman. An intimidating General and an uptight Minister "collect" him and take him off to the faraway land of his father's birth, where he is now the Heir Apparent, the ONLY heir to the throne.

On the way, he is kidnapped and th
The Prince Commands is a little action adventure novel, written in the 1930s, and part of the “Ruritania” genre, by which I mean guns and trains and cars and swords and political intrigue with a Western hero in an Eastern European throwback monarchy. See The Prisoner of Zenda, for the ur-example, or swashbuckling in a more modern sense. The hero of this one is Michael Karl, a young man raised in wealthy isolation, who discovers he is the heir to the throne of an ancient kingdom and gets involved ...more
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Andre Norton's first published (1934) novel, this is an adventure story in the style of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA and other "boys adventures." The whole novel has a nice, classic feel, with a timeless, action-filled story that is satisfying, and easy to read.

The novel finds Michael Karl (who, for some reason, is always referred to by his full name) being summoned away from America to Morvania, a fictional Balkan country, where he discovers he is heir to the throne, and gets involved in all sorts of
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a nice read, not too heavy but well told. Most of the book is fairly predictable but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the story. Good lessons on discovering that what we think we want might not be what we want at all and on responsibility and friendship.
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Funny little novel. Written, I guess, in the style of 1920's boys adventure books. I suppose this kind of thing was popular once, but it seems kind of meh reading it now. Add to the fact that the main character is always referred to by first and last name.

Eva Cg
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rather fun! Sort of predictable in places, but very enjoyable read. YA-ish.
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
2011, May 18-31
I love this book, one of the ones that I always go back to read.

2018, June 26-30
I just love the free spirit of Michael Karl and how he finds his place where he belongs.
Greyer Jane
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Oct 16, 2013
Tamara Barringer
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Dec 24, 2014
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Kurt Springs
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Mar 14, 2015
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Apr 12, 2011
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Amanda MacDonald
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Angie Wheat
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Ron Medlock
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Apr 11, 2015
Scott Brown
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Jun 07, 2015
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May 24, 2015
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Mar 14, 2014
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. She also used the names Andrew North and Allen ...more