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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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I won’t put in any spoilers, but the plot basically revolves around John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln’s assassin) and we get large parts of the story from his point of view. Booth, who is known as “Wilkes” to his friends, is haunted by an evil spirit who had connections to Booth in a past life, and intentions for Wilkes to carry out diabolical plans in this one. The author skillfully interweaves one period of history (Civil War-era) with another (Ancient Rome) and ties everything together with an intriguing mystery and a good dose of psychological suspense. The details on setting and character were so well done that I literally felt like I was on the streets of nineteenth-century Washington D.C. and could see and smell the horse-drawn carriages, the smoky saloons, and President Lincoln’s shabby, run-down White House. This author obviously did a ton of research for this book because there were so many little details inserted here and there that were just fantastic about the time period.
I will definitely be checking out other books by this writer, as I believe she’s done a couple of other time-travel novels and I bet they’re amazing. Would strongly recommend this one to anyone interested in history, quality fiction, or thriller/suspense.
By Sashadoo on 28 April 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think everyone is aware of the fact that John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, but here, author Diana Rubino has cleverly mingled historical fact and speculative fiction to produce a superb piece of work. A U.S. reviewer unfairly says he was expecting a historical novel but found it to be a 'romance rag' an unfair and highly derogatory remark, as the book's description clearly sets out the plot for the reader.
Ms Rubino weaves a complex tale involving Booth, a beautiful actress employed to spy on him, and a mysterious Romania coin that appears to have a mystical power and a hold over Booth. Even though he realises the coin bears a malevolence he can't understand, Booth cannot get rid of the thing, no matter how hard he tries. The plot becomes complicated by the actress, sent to spy on Booth's seditious activities, becoming romantically involved with him and Booth's life, and the book itself, corkscrews towards an inevitable and 'necessary' end. A great read, worthy of five stars.
The author has obviously done her homework when it comes to creating an authentic world. The detail is superb and the readers get a clear sense of the conflict between the Confederate and Union sides of the civil war. John Wilkes Booth is both a compassionate, and ruthless man who is driven to take action against an unjust president who breaks a promise to spare the life of a friend. Over the course of the book he forms conspiracies, even while there are those that conspire against him. At the same time he is haunted by a spirit, and this increasingly directs his actions.
This is a long book, and at times I felt frustrated at all the sub plots and, how all the female characters swooned over Booth. It became a little repetitive, especially as the book progressed. It felt like twenty pages could have been knocked off the total and we still would have had the essential story and characters.
It's these little frustrations that stopped me from getting completely immersed in the book, and therefore giving it a 5 star rating.
Having said that, I was overall entertained by the book, and would look for other work by the same author.