Coronets and Steel

Coronets and Steel

Book - 2010
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California girl Kim Murray is unsatisfied with grad school and restless in life, studying ballet and fencing because they remind her of older, more romantic times. Her secretive, aristocratic grandmother, who speaks only French and refuses to share stories about their mysterious family, inspires Kim to seek her roots in Europe, where she is swept up in an adventure of fantastic deceptions and passionate intrigue.
Publisher: New York : DAW Books : Distributed by Penguin Group (USA), c2010
ISBN: 9780756406424
0756406420
Characteristics: 420 p. ; 24 cm

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JCBunnell
Jan 29, 2014

I *was* delighted with this novel. It's an ingenious and entertaining riff on several genres at once -- "Prisoner of Zenda" swashbucklers (up to and including the perfect-double complications), modern romantic suspense (fans of Elizabeth Peters should be wholly charmed), and lightly drawn contemporary fantasy (the fantastical elements are subtle but cleverly developed).

What it isn't is a category YA novel, though nothing in it should shock Smith's many YA readers. Like her other books from DAW, this is aimed at a general audience and should be reviewed as such.

r
RebeccaI
Jun 26, 2011

After having been delighted with Smith's other offerings in the YA genre, I was rather disappointed with her latest work.
The plot meandered along and it was extremely difficult for me to empathize with the characters. Rather too many cliches employed, and I was surprised by some of the rather "adult" situations Kim found herself in, considering that the books I'd read before were free of such tedious scenes.
Perhaps the next book will be an improvement on the first, but I'm in no hurry to find out.

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