Constance promises to be 'an epic historical novel filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure' and it certainly delivers. The character of Constance is one who the reader will not be forgetting anytime soon. She is as alluring in the novel as she is outside of it. Her incredible sense of mischief makes her such a fun character to read that she grips you, and pulls you in from the very beginning.
Because of the time period, the backdrop of the story is dripping with historical relevance, making it a fascinating read with nods to famous historical figures, connected with events at the time, especially those at the French court at Versailles including Marie Antoinette herself and her coterie.
The writing itself is beautiful. Lines like: 'It had been a time when almost all those she loved had fallen like wheat before the scythe.' are left dotted throughout the novel, and the prose takes on a lilting appeal. You could open the book at a random page and find, wherever you look, a wonderful prosaic sentence that you wish you'd written yourself.
The characters are written convincingly, with careful attention to creating a protagonist who makes questionable decisions and is not the perfect Hollywood hero we've come to expect in novels. Constance is by no means an anti-hero but her morals are, at times, controversial and leave room for mixed interpretation. Some dialogue is a little unconvincing and doesn’t feel like anyone – regardless of the time period – would say but, on the whole, it is sharp and witty and fits each character perfectly.
If you're not a fan of historical romance novels, don't be put off. This story will suck you in, and you will be lost in a sea of decadence that was France in the 18th century.
Review by Susan Cawte
Posted on 17/09/2016
by Sue Cawte filed under