Faces of the Dead by Suzanne Weyn (ARC provided by Publisher)
Marie-Therese, Child of France and daughter of Marie-Antoinette, longs for a life of adventure, a life outside of the palace walls. But she knows her parents will never allow her to step foot into the harsh world around her. So when she spots a brief moment to escape, Marie-Therese jumps at the chance.
Switching places with Ernestine, palace servant and Marie-Therese’s best friend, means they both get to live out their fantasies. Ernestine will get the chance to be a princess for a day, while Marie-Therese will get to be a commoner. But before her adventure has really begun, Marie-Therese discovers, not only a few hidden surprises, but many harsh realities.
The streets of Paris are dirty, the people are ragged and poor, and worst of all there’s an aire of disdain for the royal family – her family. But amongst all this bad, Marie-Therese discovers at least one good thing – Henri, a stranger who fillers her head and heart with love and revolution. Disheartened and scared, Marie-Therese returns to the palace only to discover that her scary adventure is about to turn into her real life nightmare.
Forced into hiding and into a world she doesn’t know or understand, Marie-Therese takes shelter with Henri at a small wax museum. Under his guide, Marie-Therese learns to live a life of lies. Keeping her identity will be hard, but keeping the secrets of the wax museum will prove to be even more difficult.
Faces of the Dead, written by author Suzanne Weyn, is a riveting piece of historical fiction that has an unforeseeable paranormal twist.
Weyn’s writing is spot on. And what makes it so is her impressive balance of fact and fiction. Blurring the lines of reality and fiction, readers will be kept guessing. Beyond the heavy historical aspect, Faces of the Dead offers a paranormal aspect that hasn’t been seen in other books.
This paranormal aspect adds a layer of mystery, magic, and even a little mayhem. Even though, as a reader I genuinely appreciated that aspect, I often found it rushed. And besides that, as a means for a somewhat happy ending. Because of that, I wanted more. That’s why this book is a three star book for me, not a four star book.
I feel like I should mention the budding romance, but in all honesty, it’s just that – budding. And I personally liked how author Weyn didn’t focus this already strong novel of the building romance between Marie-Therese and Henri. Leaving a little bit to the imagination made for a more intriguing story.
Faces of the Dead isn’t only fun, it’s also smart. And because of that, it makes for a really great read!