Monday, March 2, 2015
Middle School Monday: Faces of the Dead by Suzanne Weyn
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When Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France learns of the powerful rebellion sweeping her country, the sheltered princess is determined to see the revolution for herself. Switching places with a chambermaid, the princess sneaks out of the safety of the royal palace and into the heart of a city in strife.
Soon the princess is brushing shoulders with revolutionaries and activists. One boy in particular, Henri, befriends her and has her questioning the only life she's known. When the princess returns to the palace one night to find an angry mob storming its walls, she's forced into hiding in Paris. Henri brings her to the workshop of one Mademoiselle Grosholtz, whose wax figures seem to bring the famous back from the dead, and who looks at Marie-Thérèse as if she can see all of her secrets. There, the princess quickly discovers there's much more to the outside world - and to the mysterious woman's wax figures - than meets the eye.
A historical fiction, that also contains a fantasy/paranormal twist. A light romance between Marie-Thérèse and Henri is also part of the plot-line. Very much a type of "Prince and the Pauper" type switch, that is more fantasy than actual history, although some of the horrors of the French Revolution are covered. Suitable for middle school and up. If you enjoy this book, you should also read Suzanne Weyn's Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic. The book is another historical, supernatural romance, this time focusing on five sisters whose lives are intertwined with the sinking of the Titanic.