Publication Date: Sep. 2010
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): California girl Kim Murray is unsatisfied with grad school and restless in life. Modern men disappoint her, and she studies ballet and fencing because they remind her of older, more romantic times.
She lives with her parents and her beloved but secretive aristocratic grandmother, who speaks only French and refuses to share stories about the mysterious family she left behind in Europe, inspiring Kim to travel there and find her roots.
Kim soon finds herself swept up in an adventure of fantastic deceptions and passionate intrigue-and a shocking realization about her own bloodline that leaves her reeling.
My Review: This is NOT my most favorite of Sherwood Smith's books. I don't think it's a good representation of what she is capable of as an author. Before I start my review, let me just say that if you are going to read a Sherwood Smith book, start off with Crown Duel (which is one of my most favorite books of all time) or the Inda series if you are really into complex worlds and multiple characters...just don't start with this one.
I will admit that it has been a while since I read this book, so all of the details are not as present. However, that can also be the more telling aspect of how I ultimately felt about the book and what has stuck with me.
I first found out about this book from Lisa over at Read.Breathe.Relax. I had seen amazing things from Sherwood Smith (as stated above) and so wanted to give this one a try.
It was engaging, enough for me to read it fairly quickly, and to want to read the follow up....but there was something missing. It didn't feel alive enough for me.
The story had potential, Kim is a likable enough character. She's no pansy, that's for sure! This girl jumps form a moving train! The other characters were ok, but didn't have enough depth and being to them.
Overall, I just wanted MORE from this book. Ms. Smith did such a FANTASTIC job with the romantic tension in Crown Duel (it makes me smile just to think of it) that this one felt to be sorely lacking. The story was interesting, but didn't have the same feeling as her others books in terms of depth and caring for the characters, or even complexity for that matter!
If you want to, give it a try, it is interesting. I just wouldn't recommend buying it.