Plot: Gaston's plot offers a vibrant and dynamic staging of the lives of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany. As provocative as it is engaging, it moves at a quick pace that readily pulls readers into the story.
Prose: Gaston's prose is lovely and compulsively readable, though much of that is driven by and in service of the plot. Even in the third-person, the character's voices are full and clear.
Originality: While the narrative adheres to conventions, fans of historical fiction will find much to enjoy in this engrossing novel that takes readers deep into the personal and political lives of royalty.
Character/Execution: Anne is given a voice and personality that shines through the page, which is particularly refreshing given history's tendency to favor and empathize with the men. As a protagonist she captivates and balances well with Louis, whose story feels fresh and new.
Date Submitted: August 31, 2020