Friday, August 16, 2013

Review: Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener

Title: Banquet of Lies
Author: Michelle Diener
Publication: October 20th 2013 by Gallery Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: e-arc
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

e-Arc provided in exchange for an honest review.

A young noblewoman flees to London and poses as a servant to evade a murderer in this richly detailed and “compelling” (Publishers Weekly) historical novel.

Frightened for her life after her father, a British spy, is murdered, Giselle Barrington flees with the secret document her father gave her for safekeeping. Needing to hide from those now chasing her, and knowing that no one would look for a wealthy young society lady in a kitchen, she takes a job as a cook for a nobleman, determined to use her anonymity to uncover the murderer. Life below stairs gives her a new perspective on the hard realities of servants’ lives, even though she’s a highly paid one. And when her employer is drawn not only into her investigations, but also to her, they find themselves faced with the power imbalance between servant and master.

~My Thoughts:

Banquet of Lies is a fascinating, amazing book that I ended up devouring with every page. I couldn't stop reading and was so engrossed by it that I have to say this is definitely one of Michelle Diener's best books so far. Is it the best book? I can't pick a favorite with her books so it's impossible to say but it's definitely just as good as The Emperor's Conspiracy and everyone who knows me can tell how much in love I am with that book so Banquet of Lies has also definitely dazzled me.

In Banquet of Lies we meet Giselle "Gigi" Barrington, a young noblewoman who witnesses her father's murder. When she flees to London with a secret document that her father gave her, the document he was murdered for, Gigi goes into hiding, taking on the job as cook for Lord Aldridge. Meanwhile she tries to find out the identity of her father's murderer. 

I don't have to say yet again how much I love Michelle's books. Every book of her that I have read so far were all so exciting, detailed and just plain gorgeous that I have to wonder is she can even write a book that I would dislike even in the smallest. I think not!
Banquet of Lies was really exciting to read. Not only because of the enthralling story but also because it connected with The Emperor's Conspiracy. Yep! There were characters from there in Banquet of Lies. I might even have squealed with delight a little bit. I won't spoil it for people and tell who I saw but I'll say this, if you thought The Emperor's Conspiracy's end was a little bit too left open for interpretation as to what was going to happen to Charlotte, you'll find out in Banquet of Lies! ;)

Anywhoo, back to Banquet of Lies...
I loved getting to know all these new characters. The main character Gigi was fab! Michelle's female main characters are always so awesome and written to not to let people walk all over them. I love that! 
Lord Aldridge, Jonathan was amazing as well. Swoon-worthy for sure! *fans face*
I loved the relationship between Gigi and Jonathan. Everytime they were together in a room it was like fireworks were in the sky. They sparked so much!
There were a lot of other fascinating characters (some I loved, some I hate *coughEdgarscough*). One character I loved was Chef Georges Bisset. Definitely one of my favorite secondary characters he was. He was like a second father to Gigi and I love how protective he was over her. Such an interesting character. I would love to learn more about him. 

The overall story was amazingly written, as I am used to by a Michelle Diener book. The way she described everything, the details. Beautiful! I wonder if there'll be any more books that will connect like this book does with The Emperor's Conspiracy because I am so not ready to say goodbye to any of these characters at all. I need more!

~Favorite Quotes:
Just like she'd done to his butler, his cook had picked him up like a bottle of champagne and shaken him vigorously, and now, at last back down on his feet, he could only stumble about, ready to explode.
It was a sensation he suddenly craved.
He was an adventure come to life.
Eventhough the facade of a society gentleman was trowled on thick tonight, there was still a hint of the savage beneath, the man who could burst into deadly, immediate action, who could fly down stairs as if he had wings.
She kept her gaze on him to avoid looking at Lord Aldridge for a moment longer. She liked watching him from afar, but close up, it gave her the sense of journeying in an out of control carriage over rough road. Thrilling, but inherently dangerous.

~About the author:
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry’s Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King’s Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only.
Set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012. BANQUET OF LIES, which is connected to THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, is set to release on October 22nd, 2013.

On 1 March 2013, DAUGHTER OF THE SKY was released. It is set in Zululand at the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings, or online at Twitter and Facebook.
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