The Embroidered Book – Kate Heartfield

Published By: Harper Collins
Pages: 672
Released On: 17/02/2022

1768. Charlotte arrives in Naples to marry a man she has never met. Two years later, her sister Antoine is sent to France to marry another stranger. In the mirrored corridors of Versailles, they rename her Marie Antoinette.

But the sisters are not powerless. When they were only children, Charlotte and Antoine discovered a book of spells – spells that seem to work, with dark and unpredictable consequences.

In a world of vicious court politics, of discovery and dizzying change, Charlotte and Antoine use their secret skills to redefine their lives, becoming the most influential women of the age.

But every spell requires a sacrifice. As love between the sisters turn to rivalry, they will send Europe spiralling into revolution.

*****

Thanks to Harper Collins for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

At almost 700 pages long, this was quite an intimidating read. I did find the quantity of characters a little overwhelming to start with, but they soon start developing their own nuances and then it becomes easier to distinguish who is whom.

I found the mix of witchcraft and magic, and the time period of the 1700s fascinating. In a time where women seemingly didn’t hold much power, it is interesting to read about this secret power they held.

It is a bit mind bending at times, which I wasn’t necessarily expecting from a book starring characters such as Marie Antoinette, but it gave a nice twist to well-known figures. I don’t know much about Antoinette and what happened during that time period, so it’s hard for me to say the book is rooted in truth, but it’s fair to say the magical elements are fictional. But it’s so brilliantly woven in to everything else that it all feels so real and true. If I’m honest, I don’t think it matters if you’re a history buff or are completely ignorant, you’ll get so much enjoyment from this book.

It’s expertly written, with Kate perfectly blending the characters, countries, and time periods; reality, fantasy, history, and magic.

I’ve seen some reviews that say it’s possibly a little too long, maybe 100 pages or so could be cut, and whilst I understand their logic (700 pages is a lot to commit to), I couldn’t possibly choose any of it to cut as it is all so feral to the plot and character development. It wasn’t necessarily a story I thought I would be interested in, but it was really informative, exciting, and thrilling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: