When Marie-Therese, daughter of Marie Antoinette, slips into the streets of Paris at the height of the French Revolution, she finds a world much darker than what she's ever known.
When Marie-Therese Charlotte of France learns of the powerful rebellion sweeping her country, the sheltered princess is determined to see the revolution for herself. Switching places with a chambermaid, the princess sneaks out of the safety of the royal palace and into the heart of a city in strife.
Soon the princess is brushing shoulders with revolutionaries and activists. One boy in particular, Henri, befriends her and has her questioning the only life she's known. When the princess returns to the palace one night to find an angry mob storming its walls, she's forced into hiding in Paris. Henri brings her to the workshop of one Mademoiselle Grosholtz, whose wax figures seem to bring the famous back from the dead and who looks at Marie-Therese as if she can see all her secrets. There, the princess quickly discovers there's much more to the outside world - and to the mysterious woman's wax figures - than meets the eye.
Beth says 3 Stars...
Sometimes a girl just wants to read about the lush world of an Old-World monarchy, even as it breaks down during a revolution. This book did a wonderful job of capturing the feeling of the end of the French monarchy at the hands of revolutionaries. The details were delightful and really rounded out a full picture of the time, from describing the luxury of the palace to the squalor of the streets. I think that has to be the book's greatest strength; the ability to transport the reader back to the end of the 18th century. Unfortunately, the plot fell extremely short of the lovely world it was supposed to fill with action. I already knew the basics of how it was going to end from my brushes with European history, so I wasn't really on the edge of my seat. The most disappointing part of the novel was the how the supernatural element was handled. There's a way to delicately add a bit of the strange and paranormal, and then there's just severely underwhelming writing. I expected so much more and just ended up disappointed with the result. I wanted some excitement, or for there to be some actual influence on the plot from it. There would be almost no difference in the book if it had been straight up historical fiction, and it probably would have been better.
Marie-Therese was a decent character, but not entirely believable in my mind. Her reactions are too calm and collected for someone brought up to be a well-mannered princess. I can't imagine that someone in her position would take a fall with such grace and ease. The rest of the royal family served their purpose to give Marie-Therese motivation to do various risky things that somehow worked out fairly well for her. Henri was a fairly standard love interest. A poor boy who could show her how the rest of the French lived and offer her a new perspective on the world, all with sweetness and kindness. There was nothing wrong with him, but he lacked a spark to bring him off the page. Most of the characters fell a bit flat, unfortunately.
Overall, I'd say this is one to skip. Lovers of paranormal stories won't find enough to interest them and it strays a bit too far from traditional historical fiction to appeal to fans of that genre. This is a case where less probably would have been more.
ebook from Netgalley
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Here is our rating system: One Star - Use as doorstop Two Stars - Bearable while on pain medication Three Stars - Read once, do not repeat Four Stars - Definitely keep it on your shelf Five Stars - Use as altar
So we've decided to join the challenge! This is just a preliminary list, and is definitely subject to change (we'll be doing a lot of adding as books begin to be released in order to get to the 12 we need!). Also, this is no order whatsoever. (if the book is in a color, it means one of us has read it!)
1. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
2. Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
3. Like Madarin by Kirsten Hubbard
4. The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens
5. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
6. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
8. Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
10. Entwined by Heather Dixon
11. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
12. Possession by Elana Johnson
Fantasy Reading Challenge
1. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 2. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal 3. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin 4. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher 5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 6. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black 7. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce 8. Entice by Carrie Jones 9. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 11. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr 12. Shadowspell by Jenna Black 13. Matched by Ally Condie 14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Claire 15. Entwined by Heather Dixon 16. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 17. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst 18. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan 19. Possession by Elana Johnson 20. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford 21. So Silver Bright by Lisa Manchev
Welcome to "in BetweeN the pages." This is a little project that we've started and we hope that it will allow us to engage in some lovely book talk. Here's a little about us-
Beth~ I have a feeling that I may have a problem. I adore books. I read whenever I can, and most of the time feel that reading a good book would be a much better use of my time than working on anything else. I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in chemistry and love science! I'm currently living in Finland while doing some research as a Fulbright before embarking on my PhD. Hopefully you will enjoy what I say... but I tend to ramble.
Nathan~ For me, reading is the ultimate escape. A good book is so much better than any therapist can ever be. I am, what many might call, a book addict. It may be wrong, but it feels so right to blow off my homework and sit curled up with a novel. It's the ultimate relaxation. Books have gotten me through school and all the drama that accompanies it. I hope that my humble opinions can help you as you continue your literary adventure.