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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Review: The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliot

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliot
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Holiday House
Pages: 320
Available Now
From: Publisher

Summary: Spoiled, beautiful, fourteen-year-old Eugenie de Boncoeur is accustomed to outrageous privilege. The French Revolution may rage around her, but Eugenie's luxurious lifestyle is only improved by visits from her brother, Armand, who is especially doting since the two were orphaned. What Eugenie doesn't know is that their guardian has promised her in marriage to the wealthy, vengeful Le Fantome, a revolutionary who is nursing a secret grudge against her family. As the Revolution becomes increasingly violent, Eugenie is shipped off to convent school. Finally, there is no place in France that is safe for her. Eugenie dusts off her lightly used brains and rises to the challenge of survival. Soon she is in the thick of turmoil and romance, confronting spies, secret agents, and double-crossing suitors in her quest to get out of France alive. Sympathies shift, and every choice can change--or end--a life.

My Review: The Pale Assassin is an interesting historical YA book. The book opened up by introducing our assassin, Le Fantome. He was a gambler and had lost his fortune to Eugenie's father. Le Fantome made it his business to cast revenge on Eugenie's family and cause great distress in her life without her knowing it. The concept sounds pretty good right? However, once the French Revolution started taking place I seemed to have lost sight on the assassin and quickly learned about Eugenie's personality. Eugenie really irked me; she is such a spoiled brat that I rolled my eyes every time she opened up her mouth. I understand she is only 14 but she never listened and always put herself and others in danger. During the times of struggle, the book became a page turner and I was eager to know how Eugenie was going to escape a country that hated aristocrats. I liked the storyline until it got to the end. I know this will be a trilogy but the outcome was so rushed I ended the book with a frown on my face. I doubt I will pick up the second book, Eugenie's character didn't intrigue me as much as I would have liked. Also, their wasn't enough assassin action for my taste, so I'll pass on the sequel. However, if you're a fan of historical fiction, you should pick this book up, you'd enjoy it!
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Author's Info:
Patricia Elliott was born in London, but grew up in Europe and the Far East. A voracious reader since childhood (where she had the resources of ten different school libraries), she also made up ghost stories to scare her friends! As an adult, she worked in publishing in London and in a children's bookshop in New York. She now teaches a course in children's literature at an adult education college, and is writing further novels. She lives in Barnes with her husband, two sons and a yellow labrador called Fingal. Her first book, The Ice Boy, won the Fidler Award for a first novel, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and the West Sussex award. Her second novel, Murkmere, has recently been longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.

Check out his blog, he hosts this every Wednesday!


Raspberry said...

I want to read this. SO BAD.
I'm not sure if you had me or not, but
And I'm totally n ot offended if you don't, because those lists can get dangerously long. :)

Cym Lowell said...

Thanks for another great review! This is a nice addition to the blog book review. Thanks for sharing.


PS. I have never been one to read YA but you (& a couple of other reviewers) almost have me convinced to start reading them!

Crystal said...

Great thoughtful review - I had not heard of this book but now I'm interested in it. Sorry to hear it wasn't a major winner for you.

Kelsey said...

Great review! This looks so good(:

Faye said...

This one looks good, love the cover and the title. i'll check it out.

Jessica Kennedy said...

This sounds like something I would really enjoy! :) Thanks for the review!

Kate said...

Great review. This sounds like an interesting read. But I get the feeling that Eugenie would irk me too.

Deanna/ibeeeg said...

Sometimes the protagonist being 14 can be irritating in it of itself. That is the age that children seem to think they "know all". I say that with tongue in cheek.
I do like historical fiction and YA fiction. I think I may give this one a try. Thanks for the review.

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Too bad the ending was disappointing. I'm not sure I'll spend time on this one. Thanks for the review!

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