Oracle Glass: 2a Novel of 17th-Century Paris

Judith Merkle Riley, Author, Judith M. Riiley, Author
Judith Merkle Riley, Author, Judith M. Riiley, Author Viking Books $22.95 (544p) ISBN 978-0-670-85054-9
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-0-449-91006-1
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-1-4022-7059-8
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-1-4022-7060-4
Open Ebook - 545 pages - 978-1-299-64891-3
Paperback - 534 pages - 978-1-4022-7058-1
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From the author of In Pursuit of the Green Lion comes a novel set in 17th-century Paris and Versailles, tinged with the occult and a feminist sensibility. The younger daughter of a loveless marriage between a scholar and a woman of high breeding, Genevieve Pasquier appears to have few prospects, since she was born with a deformed leg. Taught Latin by her father, however, she has a keen intelligence that stands her in good stead when, after leaving home as a teenager, she is adopted by a wealthy fortune-teller as her protegee. Genevieve has the gift of seeing the future in water, a talent that Catherine Montvoison, a real-life figure who was both a seer and an undercover abortionist to the aristocracy, quickly exploits. Played out against the background of Louis XIV's court, the narrative offers ample glances into the lives of the nobility, as well as intrigue and a love triangle involving Genevieve, an outlaw and a society playwright. Unfortunately, the author's impressive knowledge of the time is offset by wooden characterization and predictable plotting, and her story never quite breaks the bounds of competent genre fiction. Toward the climax, scenes of torture, witch-hunts and executions will satisfy those who like their historical fiction laced with a touch of horror; for readers who enjoy an exotic setting with a celebrity slant, the novel offers an intriguing vacation read. (June)
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