Thursday, December 10, 2015

Faces of the Dead

20578956Weyn, Suzanne. Faces of the Dead
August 26th 2014 by Scholastic Press

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France likes to switch places with her maid, Ernestine, who looks a bit like her. She doesn't have to perform some dreary royal duties, and she can also go outside the palace and find out what is going on in her country. Of course, with her mother being Marie Antoinette, nothing good is going on. Marie-Thérèse meets the charming young Henri, who has moved to town after the farm on which he grew up was lost, and he is not shy about sharing the popular views of the royal family with "Ernestine". When she is out with Henri one day, she returns to find out that the palace has been taken over, and her family captured. She looks on at them from the outside, but doesn't want to risk being caught as well, because she has fallen in love with Henri. When the revolution progresses, she knows that members of her family will be killed, but starts to realize also that the life of the ordinary person at the time is rather unpleasant. 
Strengths: The notes at the back state that Marie-Thérèse was the only member of the family to survive, although accounts are unclear as to how she managed this. There was a maid whom she resembled, and there is a likelihood that the two switched places. The details of the time and the account of the revolution are interesting, and the book is not terribly long. 
Weaknesses:There is a weird paranormal twist at the end with Napoleon's Josephine that didn't make much sense and which I could have done without. Is this fantasy? Probably. 
What I really think: For readers of Ann Rinaldi's Nine Days a Queen and of Carolyn Meyer's Young Royals books, this will be a hit. 

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