Thursday, February 18, 2016

Faces of the Dead

Title: Faces of the Dead
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Series: Standalone
Number of Pages: 201
Date Read: 2/18/16 

Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal 

Synopsis (Found on

 When Marie-Therese, daughter of Marie Antoinette, slips into the streets of Paris at the height of the French Revolution, she finds a world much darker than what she's ever known.

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.

My Review: 
I really enjoyed reading this book. I Suzanne Weyn's books because they are entertaining quick and easy reads. 

This book takes place during the French Revolution and it centers on Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's daughter Marie- Therese. The basic plot of the story is about Marie Therese exploring Paris and taking on a new identity as a peasant during the Revolution. Marie Therese has a friend who became the king and queen's adopted daughter and she looks very similar to Marie Therese. Her friend is Ernestine. Ernestine grew up alongside Marie Therese and she was educated along with her. However Ernestine has something that Marie Therese doesn't have: Freedom. Ernestine can leave the palace and go to Paris on errands and she is able to go around the palace whenever and wherever she pleases. 

However Ernestine envies Marie Therese because she wants to be a princess too. So, through their childhood and into their teens they switch places. Of course the king and queen can tell them apart but no one else really can unless they stand next to each other. By switching, Marie Therese can have freedom and visit Paris and Ernestine can be a princess.

This book deals with the theory that is out there that during the Revolution Marie Therese and Ernestine switched places and the real Ernestine took the princess' place when the royal family fled Versailles and it was Ernestine incarcerated in prison. In this theory the real Marie Therese hid among the people as a peasant and escaped the revolution. I thought Suzanne Weyn did a great job of portraying this theory in her book. 

The book also includes a woman who makes life-like wax statues and that is where Marie Therese works while her family is in prison. In Paris she also meets her love interest Henri. The romance is cute but it's very pg-13. To add to it, there it a bit of paranormal elements thrown into the story which I thought was done nicely, even if it did come out of nowhere. 

I really liked Marie Therese. She wasn't a spoiled brat and she was very kind to people. I understood her struggles during the book. She loved her family dearly but she also believed in the revolutions themes of freedom, prosperity and equality. Of course she didn't want her family to die but she did understand the principals the people of France were fighting for because she experienced hunger and poverty while in the streets of Paris. I can't imagine how difficult it was for her to hear that her parents were being executed and she could't do anything to stop it. Marie Therese, in the book anyway, was a very strong character to have gone through all she did and not only survive but not go crazy as well. 

I do want to mention something about Ernestine's character. She was an extremely loyal friend and she loved Marie Therese very much. She is also extremely brave. She stood in for Marie Therese knowing she may possibly die. She refused to allow Marie Therese to go with her family when they were fleeing, insisting that she take her place and save her. I admire her bravery vey much. 

All in all this was a good quick read and I'll definitely will be checking out more of Suzanne Weyn's books. 


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