Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Giveaway: For the King by Catherine Delors


It is Christmas Eve, the year 1800, in post-revolutionary France. Paris’ unsuspecting citizens go about their business casually, unaware of conspirators plotting against the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. When a crude but powerful bomb rips through the streets, Citizen Inspector Miquel searches for the assassins, knowing that they will never stop the vicious quest for France’s return to its monarchical past.

The French republic bolstered by its revolutionary ideals permitted Miquel’s meteoric rise from humble beginnings. Now, his father’s rhetoric against Napoleon’s corrupt government lands him in jail. Miquel suddenly discovers his father’s fate is contingent on his innate skills and speed. He races against time to discover the truth. Ties to the present also hinder his abilities, with his beautiful mistress Blanche Coudert as a persistent distraction. I never doubted that he would expose the assassins and capture the elusive conspirator, code-named For the King. His deft handling of each new obstacle always gave me with intense relief, only to have my heart full of fear whenever an unforeseen threat immediately arose.

Catherine Delors first wowed me with her portrayal of revolutionary France in her debut title, Mistress of the Revolution. I have come to admire her most for her passion for France of the 18th and 19th centuries. It is always evident in the history she reveals, and the mannerisms and attitudes of her characters, details that only a dedicated writer who has immersed herself in the period can bring to life. She has also impressed me with the multifaceted personalities of the individuals on the page, each unique and memorable. Miquel has high ideals, but he can be brutally purposeful when the excesses of the past threaten to misdirect his moral compass. His father has a hard edge to him, but he is invariably committed to his friends and proud of his son’s accomplishments. Blanche proved the biggest surprise, more than just a pretty face in silken dresses. If you want principled but conflicted heroes, passionate and determined heroines, and cold-blooded, tireless villains, read For the King. Perhaps you will find yourself, like I was, transported to a turbulent time, rife with political upheaval and intrigue. Very few authors have that effect on me, but Catherine accomplishes it with unerring talent and tireless dedication to illuminating the past.

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