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Children's LiteratureThis abridged edition, originally titled The Lost Prince, tells the highly romantic story of Marco Loristan, a twelve-year-old boy in London who has been raised to honor his father and his lost country of Samavia above all else. Though Marco and his father have moved from country to country and live in poverty with their servant, Lazarus, an old soldier, Marco is being carefully and thoroughly trained in the skills needed by a prince. Early in the tale, Marco meets a crippled boy called The Rat. This boy and his friends are captivated by the newspaper stories of the civil war in Samavia and the tales of the prince who had been lost five hundred years before. When The Rat discovers that Marco's knowledge of Samavia far exceeds his own, he becomes Marco's closest friend and is taken into the Loristan household when he is orphaned. The boys spend their time thinking of strategies to return the descendent of the lost prince to his throne. The Rat comes up with a plan to get the two of them into the country where they can bring messages to the freedom fighters who are waiting to overthrow the warring factions and restore the monarchy. A time comes when that message is needed, and Marco's father is persuaded to send the boys off to deliver it to supporters in France, Germany, Austria, and in Samavia itself. When the boys return to London, Lazarus tells them that Marco's father has gone to Samavia. When they finally join him there, they find that he is the hereditary king and that Marco is the prince. The ending is clearly predictable throughout the story, and it stretches the imagination to think that Marco, who is extremely intelligent, has never suspected it. But the lessons his fatherhas taught him all his life--honor, duty, integrity, compassion, and discipline--have made him not only an admirable, but a likable and satisfying hero. 2004 (orig. 1915), Journey Forth/BJU Press, Ages 9 to 12.