Sunday, August 4, 2013

Take Me to the Castle by F.C. Malby

Title:  Take Me to the Castle
Author:  F.C. Malby
Published:  December 2012 by CreateSpace
Page Count:  253
Genre:  Historical Romance
Shelf:  Review Copy
Rating:  ★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The door opened slowly, and she could see the outline of five men standing in the corridor. Her room was far enough away from the figures for no one to notice her nose pressing into the door frame. She was aware of her own breathing and tried to slow it down, slow down her heartbeat until she was invisible. The idea in these moments is to be completely invisible. There were a lot of invisible people in Prague, doing invisible things to other invisible people.

What would you do to secure your own freedom?

February 1993. Walls between East and West have dissolved, following the Velvet Revolution of 1989. It is a harsh winter in the newly formed Czech Republic, but the nation celebrates. Arriving in Letovice, Jana is trying to escape a personal loss and come to terms with the changes in her country and in her own life. She stays with the Martineks and meets their son, Miloš. When he leaves Letovice and she travels back to Prague, she encounters a deep and shocking betrayal. Jana meets Lukas, a conservator working on the restoration of a mosaic at the Cathedral of St Vitus. But who is he and what is he hiding?

An evocative portrayal of life during the fall of communism: It is a sometimes heartbreaking tale of deception, distrust and the need for redemption in the aftermath of a regime in which no one can be trusted, not even someone you thought you knew.

My Review:

This is one of those historical novels that is accurately and believably placed in the intended time period. The audience isn’t left filling in political or historical pieces of information. The beginning of this story jumps around a lot to give the audience some background information. It makes the story a bit hard to get into. That said, about a quarter of the way out the story began a smoother progression, allowing me to get into the story some more.

As a reader you can accurately picture the landscape that surrounds the characters. Malby’s depiction of the surrounding areas makes this very easy and pleasurable. Her physical descriptions of everything encountered makes you feel as if you’ve actually been there. Her descriptions also have a dark overtone that leads to the heavy feelings that are present in many of the characters. As an author she does a very good job of evoking empathy, sympathy, and even shock in her readers.

I really appreciate how you really get to know the histories of the different characters. That said, I found that you don’t really get to know them as people. You know where they’ve been and what they’ve been through, but who they are remains a bit of a mystery. It’s a bit of an odd feeling.

Overall, this was a well put together but heavy read. I must say, however, the ending left me wondering. What exactly was the letter?

Buy your copy online here today.

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