This second book in the series picks up after a Nazi attack forced a frantic and complete evacuation of the tiny island kingdom of Montaray. Sophie FitzOsborne, her brother Toby, her sister Henry and her cousin Veronica are in England now, trying to figure out what they can do to get their homeland back. Their castle may have been crumbling, and there isn't much left of the island's population, but Montmaray has a rich history, sending troops to fight with the British in WWI and helping Elizabeth I defeat the Spanish Armada. Sophie's family has ruled the kingdom since the Middle Ages and her brother Toby has just been crowned king, but they don't have a lot of resources--not much money, no military, and almost no one has even heard of their country. Adding to their difficulties, on Montmaray the young people were left largely on their own, but now that they're in England they're under the watchful eye of Aunt Charlotte who has a lot of expectations about proper behavior. Sophie and Veronica are supposed to attend a flurry of social functions and find husbands, Henry is meant to start acting like a girl, and Toby is expected to begin taking his schoolwork seriously.
A lot of real world politics and people make their way into the book. The antics of the fascinating Mitford sisters are discussed, John Kennedy's lively sister Kick is a new friend, Spanish Civil War refugees are living nearby, and creepy British fascist Oswald Mosley turns up at dinner parties. The whole story is told by Sophie through her journal entries and she's a wonderful narrator. Unlike her very political cousin Veronica, Sophie had secretly been looking forward to dances and new dresses. She doesn't have the stunning good looks of Toby or Veronica, but her common sense, good humor, and keen observational skills are proving invaluable.