This novel is extraordinary for several reasons and the clear leader is Jane’s story arc. Her transition from entitled precious spoiled brat child into a strong self-knowledgeable woman quite capable of making her own decisions is remarkable. Every step along the way contributes in some way to her growth. And the developing of a relationship between her and Alexander is a masterly touch, even as the reader is led to expect them to get together, it’s far from a sure thing. The twists and turns and obstacles to overcome are tightly would into the plot and none of them seem contrived; they make sense.
A murder mystery skillfully wound into a well-developed history lesson with a surprising villain is the icing on this delicious cake.
Not directly impacting this review, Ella’s growth as a writer is very, very impressive. My first exposure to her writing was a seemingly rushed one or two star short with more than enough plot for a 300-page novel fraught with errors. Jane’s story has placed Ella firmly in my top 10 with full 1-Click privileges.
I was provided with an advance reader copy of this novel and I have voluntarily chosen to submit this review.