Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener

The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: November 27, 2012
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Fiction, Historical Fiction, England
 ISBN: 9781451684438

My Review:
I thoroughly enjoy the historical fiction genre and I am careful about which ones I accept because I as I have stated before I am always scared I will get bogged down with facts and history in a historical novel. Not that it has happened yet and it definitely did not happen with The Emperor's Conspiracy.

The Emperor's Conspiracy is a very fast-paced plot based novel that had me flipping the pages as fast as I could to find out what would happen next in Charlotte Raven's world.  I had no doubt that Charlotte would end up okay, but I wanted to know how and what the devil was going on. And it seemed like there was a lot going on.  Ms. Diener does a wonderful job creating and weaving the plot in this novel and basing it on a historical fact that I did not know about at all which made it more interesting.  I like telling my husband things that he did not know since he is a major history-buff.  You can easily get caught up in Miss Raven's world which traverses the posh area of London and the seedy back alleyways as well.  

I think there was mastery in the creation of Miss Charlotte Raven.  Creating her as a chimney sweep who is transformed into a noblewoman so she knows both sides of London and can travel them both well.  She is also still mired in both sides so that adds the extra interest and extra plotline to the book.  I would have loved a little  more depth to her character but realize the length of the novel and type of novel probably limited the character development some.  We do see some of her development, but I want more Charlotte and also more of Edward.  I feel he was more of a cardboard cutout that got filled in some.  I liked him a lot, and feel he was a typical male of the time, and what he needed to be for his job, aloof and distant, but I wanted to know him just a little more.  That said, I still enjoyed him and Charlotte as characters.  I also enjoyed the secondary characters, though sometimes I was a little confused (but it could have been the medicines, I read this when I had a sinus infection, so I could have been addled some).

Overall this book was well worth my time and has me wanting to check out Ms. Diener's backlist and anything she writes in the future.  She writes in a way that is easy to read and catches your interest from the first page.  She knows how to plot well and tie up things without making it too pat.  Her pacing was also well done,  it never felt rushed, I felt the book moved along well.  I was kind of sad it ended and to say goodbye to these wonderful characters.  I wish I could see more of Charlotte and Edward, they were fun together.  So if you enjoy a good nineteenth-century English suspense set in London then this is just the book for you.  But be prepared to spend a few hours reading because you won't want to put it down. 

My Rating: 4.25/5.0

About the Book:
From nineteenth-century London’s elegant ballrooms to its darkest slums, a spirited young woman and a nobleman investigating for the Crown unmask a plot by Napoleon to bleed England of its gold.

Chance led to Charlotte Raven’s transformation from chimney sweep to wealthy, educated noblewoman, but she still walks a delicate tightrope between two worlds, unable to turn her back on the ruthless crime lord who was once her childhood protector.

When Lord Edward Durnham is tapped to solve the mystery of England’s rapidly disappearing gold, his search leads him to the stews of London, and Charlotte becomes his intriguing guide to the city’s dark, forbidding underworld. But as her involvement brings Charlotte to the attention of men who have no qualms about who they hurt, and as Edward forges a grudging alliance with the dangerous ghosts of Charlotte’s former life, she faces a choice: to continue living in limbo, or to close the door on the past and risk her heart and her happiness on an unpredictable future.

About the Author: 
Michelle Diener has always had a passion for reading and writing. She began writing stories when her parents gave her a typewriter for her twelfth birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. Born in London and raised in South Africa, she now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two small children.


Thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Publisher, I have one copy of The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener to giveaway.  Open to US/Canada, ends 12/10.  Copy will be mailed from the publisher.

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FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review.