“A Royal Likeness” by Christine Trent is a sequel to “The Queen’s Dollmaker” and while I never read that prequel, I can tell you that it’s not necessary for you to read the first in order to enjoy the second. Ms. Trent did an awesome job making sure that I enjoy this read as a standalone. She gave me plenty of explanation in regards to characters and events from the prequel and that made it very easy for me to follow this story all on its own. She also made me want to read the prequel as well.
Now, this novel starts off a bit slow, but if you, like I, stick with this read for about a hundred or so pages, you will discover a story that is fascinating, fast paced and very, very well written.
This is Marguerite du Georges’ (Ashby) story, a character that was first introduced in the prequel, and a woman that now owns Claudette’s doll shop. As her story opens, she is struck with a tragedy and now must fend for herself, away from London. She finds herself working with Madame Tussaud, who is now in a need of an apprentice. As she enjoys her work and lets Madame Tussaud guide her while she applies her old and develops new skills, she gets commissioned by the Prime Minister on a secret project which will take her on an unexpected adventure of a lifetime.
And that is where the book takes off. Real historical figures and events add a wonderful and exciting pace to this story. Our heroine might be ‘addled’ at times and she might get into some scrapes, but the woman was strong and courage’s. It was a pleasure to watch her grow and come into her own while she lives through some tragedies life throws her way.
‘A Royal Likeness’ was a treat to read and I found it one highly entertaining story that weaves historical figures and events with fictional ones with a perfect precision and wonderful prose. If you are a fan of historical fiction, you will want to read this story that is full of political intrigue, mystery, tragedy, high sea adventure and a touch of romance as our heroine Marguerite is pursued by couple of suitors, fictional and historical. I found her refreshing and bold; talented and creative; adventures and witty. Once you meet her, you won’t be able not to like her. Ms. Trent made sure to have all of her characters as three-dimensional as possible. She did an outstanding job researching and bringing to life an era in history that is not just exciting but intriguing as well. She takes us on a journey, along with our heroine, from England to Scotland and gives us a look at France in a time of French Revolution, a time in history that was perilous to all, not just the French.
I highly recommend this story to all you history buffs, romance and adventure seekers and bestow upon it all of my four quills!
*This review posted on Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine*