Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written-Can't wait for the second part!, July 13, 2011
This review is from: Shattered Crowns: The Scapegoats (Shattered Crowns Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
What an incredible book filled with psychological insight and a clear understanding of events, which makes a very complicated era of history so accessible to the reader!
I did not think that it would be possible to surpass or equal Christina Croft's earlier novel, "Most Beautiful Princess" but, once again, the author remained true to history and portrayed the characters - Franz Ferdinand, Karl, Emperor Franz Josef, Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas - so clearly that I felt I was actually in their company. Even the brief appearance of Crown Princess Marie of Roumania, captured `Missy' to a tee!
There were so many episodes which moved me that it would be impossible to mention them all, but two conversations were particularly striking. The first between Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas at the Kaiser's daughter's wedding showed their contrasting characters perfectly. The second - a conversation between Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Wilhelm in the gardens of Franz Ferdinand's summer estate - presented an entirely different perspective on how subsequent events unfolded.
Above all, this book throws into question the usual take on events that led to the First World War. The author does not underestimate the readers' intelligence but rather points him/her in the direction to look beneath the surface of the myths that have been handed down as fact. There is drama, manipulation, foreboding, intrigue and tragedy (lightened by occasional amusing anecdotes) but the beauty of the prose and Christina Croft's obvious respect and love for these real historical people, makes this a truly rewarding, thought-provoking and wonderful read.
After reading: "Shattered Crowns: The Scapegoats", I am eagerly anticipating the second and third books of the trilogy.
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