Set in the volatile early years of the French revolution, Mobley’s (The Jewel Thief) novel is a well-paced historical adventure featuring plenty of romance and valor among its cued-white cast. Since her mother abandoned the family to become a nun, “solid, useful” Claudie Durand, 19, has become caretaker to her volatile father, pretty younger sister Mathilde, and the travelers who stop by their small inn in Brittany. Lately, she’s had her hands full keeping her sister’s flirtations with the dashing town messenger in check as well as trying to quell the town’s fears that the violent revolution in Paris might reach the countryside. When revolutionary soldiers destroy their entire village, the sisters are unwittingly thrust into a dangerous mission to deliver a valuable stolen jewel to the French resistance’s handsome leader. Against her better judgment, Claudie finds herself drawn to this mysterious man—and the cause for which he and so many seem willing to die. Claudie is a worthy heroine whose clearly wrought insecurities pair well with her fierce loyalty, appealing wit, and admirable self-reliance. Alongside a swoony if predictable romance, Mobley pairs heart-stopping danger and valiant heroism with a stark portrayal of war’s far-reaching costs. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary. (Nov.)
Correction: A previous version of this review mistakenly listed this novel as Mobley’s YA debut.
Reviewed on : 09/23/2021 Release date: 11/16/2021 Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9848-3746-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio