This is a compelling, engaging tale of historical intrigue, and Fremont’s characters are immersive, though the complex plot at times overshadows them–particularly when it jumps timelines with little warning. While Lucinda fights visions of ancient Egyptian gods and fears of being consumed by the past, René becomes aware of cryptic prophecies that hint at his role in something far greater than he has ever imagined. The two embark on a journey of ill-fated love, and discover that nothing is as it seems–and the powers that be are doing their best to undermine their growing connection. Soon, Lucinda is launched down a path of no return and René drowns himself in his art, gaining notoriety and heartache along the way. Though neither can grasp the dizzying turns in store for them, both hold out hope they will one day be reunited.
Lucinda is equal parts innocent and flawed, characteristics that Fremont skillfully illuminates with the cast of dishonorable family members surrounding her every move, and René is portrayed as a loyal lover searching for meaningful ways to fulfill his destiny. Savvy readers will look beyond the surface romance to tease out the underlying themes of women’s justice and good versus evil, and the surprise ending will please those who prefer out-of-the-blue bombshells.
Takeaway: A memorable story of historical intrigue, jeweler René Lalique, and the relationships that inspired his art.
Great for fans of: Marie Benedict’s Her Hidden Genius, Michelle Moran’s The Heretic Queen.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A