Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court by Michelle Moran

I am a big fan of Michelle Moran's writing.  I love her Egypt novels (Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen and Cleopatra's Daughter) in particular and have recommended them to several people looking for a good historical read.  I am also beyond thrilled that Ms. Moran is a fan of book bloggers and keeps in touch with many of us.  She contacted me offering to send me a copy of her newest release, "The Second Empress" to read and review. 
I was so excited to receive and read this book.  I love historical fiction and was looking forward to this French court follow up (her previous French tale "Madame Tussaud"was released last year).  The Second Empress proved to be a highly entertaining novel, but you need to go into it expecting an entertaining tale, not a historical account.  There are a number of historical inaccuracies in this novel that cannot be ignored.  A better historical fiction representation of Napoleon's time would be the Josephine B. trilogy by Sandra Gulland. 
That being said this was a fun novel to read and certainly kept me hooked throughout.  I do quite enjoy Ms. Moran's writing style.  This story was told from several points of view, not just Marie-Louise (Napoleon's second wife, from Austria).  It was also told from the point of view of  Napoleon's sister Pauline (herself a fascinating character) and Paul, Pauline's manservant from Haiti.  I quite enjoyed Paul, he was a good way of balancing out the "crazies" of the Bonapartes, offering insight as to why people would remain loyal to the family.