Sovay

Celia Rees, Author . Bloomsbury $16.99 (404p) ISBN 978-1-59990-203-6

Rees’s (Witch Child ) evocative writing will once again sweep readers back in time to meet another of her iron-willed protagonists, Sovay, who is fashioned after the heroine of a traditional British ballad. Raised in the English countryside during the French Revolution, 17-year-old Sovay embarks on a mission to find her missing father and brother, who’ve been condemned for supporting the Revolution. Her search takes her to dangerous corners of London and Paris, where she plays the roles of highway robber, spy and socialite to gather clues and outwit a treacherous villain who desires to overthrow Britain’s throne. History buffs will relish detailed descriptions of period dress, inventions and architecture sprinkled throughout the novel, but may be most intrigued by the author’s insight into France’s shift of power after the storming of the Bastille. Capturing the romantic, dramatic flavor of late-18th-century prose (“However much she fought against it, a sense of menace, vague, but all-pervading, began to seep into her soul”) without compromising the complexity of her characters, the author creates a suspenseful tale of political intrigue and class struggle. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)

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