Every Inch a King  
Author Harry Turtledove
Cover artist Bob Eggleton
Language English
Genre(s) Fantasy
Publisher ISFiC Press
Publication date 2005

Every Inch a King is a fantasy novel by Harry Turtledove published by ISFiC Press in 2005.

The novel tells the story of Otto of Schlepsig, an acrobat who bears a strong resemblence to Prince Halim Eddin, an Hassockian nobleman who has been invited to take up the crown of Shqiperi. Otto and his friend Max of Witte leave the circus of Dooger and Cark to travel to Shqiperi with the plans of presenting Otto as the prince.

The novel is based on a widely discredited claim by German acrobat Otto Witte that in the summer of 1913 he and his friend, the sword swallower Max Schlepsig (notice the similarity to the protagonists' names) went to the newly-independent nation of Albania to claim the crown offered to his lookalike, Turkish prince Halim Eddine. Witte claimed that he had orgies with the harem prepared for Eddine and declared war on Montenegro, was discovered after five days, and, with the help of harem girls grateful for the sexual gratification he had given them, managed to escape Albania with a sizable portion of the nation's treasury. The veracity of Witte's story is not widely accepted, and Witte himself is believed to have been insane.

As Witte's alleged actions took place against the backdrop of the geopolitical situation in Europe on the eve of World War I, so too does this novel take place against a geopolitical backdrop based on that period, with great and small countries alike represented by fictional kingdoms with names from each nation's language and with people and governments exhibiting traits associated with their respective kingdoms' stand-in countries.

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Chapter One