The year is 1640, and Louis XIII is on the French throne. However, as far as you’re concerned, this is all pretty meaningless. After all, as a teenage orphan living in a monastery school in Reims, all you have to worry about is dodging the unpleasant advances of a few unsavoury monks and looking forward to a life of penniless and celibate servitude in a religious order.
After a childhood and adolescence plagued by a constant longing to know who he really is, orphan Pierre has not the slightest idea that his questions are about to be answered. But you know what they say – be careful what you wish for…
Suddenly finding out who you are can bring with it not only happiness and fortune, but danger, friendship and the sort of swift education that the monastery could never have provided! The discovery of who Pierre really is affects not only Pierre and his friends, but has ramifications for the French nobility, the English crown, and most dangerous of all, the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu and his fierce ambition for the Church and for himself.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 388 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The French Orphan
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date:June 12th 2012
Publication Date:June 12th 2012
As soon as I got the tour invite for The French Orphan series I knew I was going to have to sign up and well...the rest is history (literally) and you dear reader, find yourself here.
I really enjoyed this first book in The French Orphan series. It started off slightly different than what I was expecting and went some places I wasn't expecting either but I found it to be part of the book's charm.
I have a confession to make though, I didn't really like our young French orphan right away. I thought he was too much of a goody two shoes, especially since he'd been raised in a monestary, but I did come around to liking Pierre in the end. I think it took his finding his feet in the world and the courage to save himself and find out who he is, where he comes from and his desire to actually do something with the information he uncovers and to through himself wholeheartedly into the search for a better life. Don't mistake me, he still keeps much of his naivete even towards the end of this book but he does look at things much more realistically than he did at the beginning.
Despite the edge of danger that is constantly around Pierre, Armand and their friend Marie I loved their enthusiasm for their joint venture. I especially love the friendship that forms between Pierre and Armand, more so because there are enemies out there after him, for who he is.
There's a real sense of adventure with this book and I really relished the opportunity to read The French Orphan. We're introduced to some great characters, a nefarious plot is afoot and it's all set in the 1640's so for this historical fiction lover in me it was pure delight. It's fast paced, witty and full of youthful mistakes, friendship and heartbreak.
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for some quality historical fiction, I do hasten to advise you that this does feature a teenage protagonist but I'm not sure that I would qualify it as Young Adult Historical Fiction, due to some more adult themes in the storyline. It was the 1640s folks and a lot of stuff went on then that wouldn't fly now. Michael Stolle puts forth a great first book in a series that I don't advise missing especially if you're partial to traveling back in time through some good old historical fiction.
Born and educated in Europe, Michael has always been intrigued by the historical setting and the fact that what makes us human was as true in the 17th century as it is now.
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