It is the decades of the revolution, and Paris is in turmoil. Grim, tortured Aleksender quite accidentally saves a child – a child who grows into unpredictable loveliness.
Although life, or more correctly battle, takes him far away – she waits for him, hoping against all odds for his safety – and more.
Sofia is the genuine, compassionate person that is the soul of this story; Alek has impressed us already with his act of kindness. Will Sofia’s love, and Alek’s devotion, allow them both to survive, and be together, in the nightmare of politics, rebellion and retribution? Much stands between them, their culture, events of the day, and even personal obligation. Although, on the face of it, the idea that he should fall in love with the woman who was once his ward is somehow unappealing – the true sense of each characters’ genuine, heartfelt attachment for the other somehow supersedes any concern about age difference.
This is the classic romance; the love that, at any cost, will not be denied…although indeed, we readers fear that cost! The characters are wonderful – intriguing and so strong.
The story has many glorious descriptions and then also the less-than glorious, as well as the odd longish boring tracts which are beautifully written yet drag down the story quite pointlessly: “Perched amongst the three domes and solitary pediment, the lyre of Apollo was held high and proud as it kissed the heavens, sunlight seeping through the instrument’s precious strings of gold. And, on the clearest of days, the towering stone walls resembled Mount Olympus—the home of the twelve Olympian gods. Within this edifice, the God of Music and…” lovely, but so annoying as we await Aleksender’s meeting with Sofia…however, the meeting is every bit as dramatic as one could hope, so how much can we complain? If only this sort of description happened less often or if the editor had wielded a sharper pen, this would have been a 5 book story. However, it is still well worth reading; do put it on your TBR list.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It 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.