Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Book Review: 'Danube in Candlelight' by Stephanie Burkhart

Cover_Danube in Candlelight

Book three in the Budapest Moon series, and the best one yet!
I really enjoyed seeing the next generation of these families who started out as enemies, but have since become very good friends and all but family.  I strongly recommend that you read the other books to understand all the nuances and intertwined relationships here.  I imagine this book would stand alone, as Ms. Burkhart does weave in some backstory, but it will be so much richer if you are following the series.
Adam and Morgan were fun characters, feeling quite youthful and impetuous… they have both completed their educations and are ready to settle in to the lives they’ve chosen.  But as in any good book, things happen to make that road a bit bumpy.  Morgan has an intense, powerful and unwelcome new suitor and both Adam and Morgan have trust issues.
I loved revisiting everyone, including Emily who was only a few years old the last time we saw her, and the only fully human offspring in this story.  She’s turned out to be a lovely, stable, admirable young woman.  And the staff of both families (who are now joined by marriage) had their moments here as well. It was like visiting an old friend.
While I didn’t always thing Morgan behaved in a manner that was completely understandable–after all, Adam is her best friend who she’s known forever.  Yes, he made an error in judgment, but I think she overreacted just a little. Of course, she’d suddenly gotten quite a lot on her plate, so it may have been a matter of overload or the last straw.
Danube in Candlelight was a bit less dark and gothic, and had a lot more going on.  With the other books, there were times I wanted to set them down and go looking for something more exciting, but this one never made me feel that way.  Definitely the best in the series so far, and if the author keeps improving with each book I’m going to be one very happy reader.  Ms. Burkhart’s strengths are her characterizations and setting as character, as well as well composed prose and clean writing.  Yes, her plots are interesting, but what keeps me hooked is how attached I become to the population in each book.
Danube in Candlelight was filled with an interesting series of events and a fascinating stroll through Hungarian history and, even more, a set up to the next book.  I’m looking forward to reading it.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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