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The Laurentine Spy

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  441 ratings  ·  59 reviews
The Corhonase citadel is a place of virtue and debauchery -- and deadly secrets. For the Laurentine spies embedded there, every day brings danger. Nothing is as it seems, whether in the ballrooms and salons of the nobles' court or the catacombs beneath the citadel.

Saliel has many secrets; her spying is one, her past as a pickpocket in Laurent's slums is another, but her mo
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Solaris (first published January 1st 2009)
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The Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussWarbreaker by Brandon SandersonFire by Kristin CashoreThe Gathering Storm by Robert JordanBest Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
2009 DGLA Fantasy Book Nominees
28th out of 64 books — 108 voters
Poison Study by Maria V. SnyderKushiel's Dart by Jacqueline CareyTheft of Swords by Michael J. SullivanMagic Study by Maria V. SnyderHeir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan
SF/F Spies!
11th out of 64 books — 17 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,056)
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CJ - let me hold both your hands in the holes of my sweater
I really don't know how I feel about this book. I liked it - adventure and romance! - and I didn't - vague and boring!

Truthfully it was two books in one.

The first was an espionage book which got on my nerves because while there was a vague backstory, I couldn't really connect with the spies because while I believed they were the 'good' side, I didn't necessarily know if they were the 'right' side (their leader seemed to be a bit of a douc*e, so I couldn't go by him). Also, as spies, they meet i
This was... sort of okay. A pretty compulsive read, with short chapters and some tension. But I started it last night and picking it up again this morning, it just seemed thin: this society is evil because rape. Character conflict because rape. Rapey rapey rape.

Ahem. Basically, there was very little depth to the world: there was no explanation of why the two kingdoms/empires (whichever they were meant to be which was, surprise! not clear) were at odds, no explanation of exactly what they were fi
Thanks go to Ana of The Book Smugglers for recommending this lovely little book. It was her review that first brought it to my attention a couple months back and sparked my interest. I picked it up at the bookstore shortly after, brought it home, and then promptly set it on the nightstand stack to marinate for awhile. I looked at it speculatively from time to time but other books kept nosing in and getting in the way. Then when I suddenly needed something incredibly engrossing about characters w ...more
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I love that feeling of smug satisfaction that settles in, wrapping around you when you finish a book; a really good book. The Laurentine Spy falters a bit in the finer points of its world-building, but this novel was full of intrigue, suspense, and strong-willed characters whose stories enamored me from the first chapter itself. Not to mention a wonderful, worthy, and hard-won romance too. Very highly recommended.
I really really liked this book. It was very "Three Musketeers-ish". Very interesting romance and world, and VERY tense. Evocative of the real danger and fear a spy might feel, unusual angle on the genre as spying is always portrayed as more glam. I liked the characters, the world building was a bit vague but none-the-less I enjoyed and would read another book by this author!
Some fun and easy fantasy The premise of the book is that there are ThreeLaurentinespies embedded in their rival country's, calledCorhonase, Citadel. There have been there some at least two years, and meet regularly to pass the secrets they learned to their guardian so he can pass it to their homeland. The three spies do not know each other identities, just each other's code names so as to protect each other if they are caught.Salielis pretending to be a noblewoman. The person she knows as One i ...more
Jennie N
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Laurentine Spy is Emily Gee's second novel, published in 2009. I really enjoyed her first novel, Thief with No Shadow, so I was looking forward to this one. The book didn't disappoint, even though I did have some problems with it. It was an engaging story, focused mainly on court intrigue, the politics involved with it and the trouble the spies within the court have of staying undercover. There is also a big romance angle in the book, which was very enjoyable, though at times very frustratin ...more
Carla *Jen7waters*
This review was originally written for The David Gemmell Legend Awards website (, and it **contains spoilers and nonsense**

Emily Gee’s The Laurentine Spy set in a British Regency/Victorian era type-of period and space, tells the story of Saliel and Athan who, without knowing each other’s identity, work together as spies at the Corhonase court for Laurent, their homeland. While Saliel spies the ladies, Athan does the same with the lords, since in this patriarchal niche ma
Hmmm, not sure where to start with this one, so I guess I’ll start by saying that before reading this all I could find was good reviews. The plot sounded very exciting, packed with mistaken identities, secret missions, magic and romance. What could be better? Saliel (Lady Petra, Three) is our heroine, she has decided to become a spy to escape her troubled past and earn enough money to start a new life. Athan (Lord Ivo, One) comes from a privileged past and has decided to become a spy mainly out ...more
Janice (Janicu)

I got Emily Gee's two books for my birthday after both
@angiebookgirl and @booksmugglers pimped the books to me on twitter. I'd already been eying this author because of recommendations at the Paperbackswap forums, but those two tweeters tipped the scales. When I was in high school my favorite genre was fantasy, and in college I began to get more into authors who wrote fantasy with romantic elements like Sharon Shinn, Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip, and
Sep 15, 2009 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
I really liked Gee's first book, Thief With No Shadow, and read an excellent review of this over at, so when I saw it at the bookstore I eagerly picked it up. To my delight, The Laurentine Spy turned out to be a great escapist read, an imaginary world fantasy with somewhat of a Scarlet Pimpernel feel. It's the story of two spies for the Laurentine Protectorate who are stationed at the Corhonase court: Saliel, a former pickpocket with a secret magical power, ...more
Fantasy Literature
Saliel is in over her head. Masquerading as a noble lady in the fortress of Laureant’s greatest enemy, she sneaks into the old disused catacombs every other night to meet One, Two, and the Guardian, other Laurentine spies whose true identities she doesn't know.

After foiling an enemy plan to take over another fought-over land, Saliel learns that the Prince and his consort know there are spies in the fortress and have hired a notorious and feared spycatcher. Saliel and the other spies still have w
When you hover over the stars on goodread, it informs you that one star is for "did not like it" and two is for "it was okay".
I didn't like this book. But it wasn't the worst book I ever read. It didn't make me angry or upset. I just didn't enjoy it, so I feel awkward lumping it in the one star range where most of those books made me angry and annoyed. This book just made me bored. So it gets a two star rating from me because it wasn't bad enough to recieve a one star but that doesn't mean I enj
I really wanted to like this book. I mean really, fantasy with romance and espionage? It all sounded like win + win to me. However, maybe it's just me, but it throws me off a book when within the first few pages the main male character is having descriptive sex fantasies about the main female character. In fact, in this book the hero and heroine have met but do not actually know what either look like. As they are spies in hiding. And such.
I don't know, but to me it was a little too much and I d
Alice Lawrence
Good Fun.

Recommended to: lover's of Kirsten Cashore's 'Graceling' and other works.

This book offers nothing particularly new to it's genre, instead it is a hug to lovers of fantasy romances with strong leads. It's fun, heart-warming, and a quick page-turner.

The Good
-The hero and heroine are likeable and believable.
-The cultures in the book are both intriguing and familiar.
-Interesting magic that adds to the book, feels believable, and isn't overpowered.
-It had moral grey areas, one of my favourit
Jeanne Stumbaugh
This book wasn't about saving the world from good or evil. It was about being a spy. Yes, some of the people in it were a-holes but on the whole, they were people created by their cultures. The ambiguity of it--the lack of knowing who's on the side of good, who's on the side of evil--makes it easier to focus on the main characters and hope for their survival. The lead characters are flawed, scarred by their pasts and by their deeds as spies.

The writing was engaging and was happily immersed in it
This was a decent read with a fairly engaging plot that kept me plugging along. Normally I would have lost interest a few chapters in since I'm not big on alternating POV's from the hero and heroine. In fact, they are something I detest in novels almost always.

This one wasn't so bad so I finished it. I don't know if this is a series but if it is I'd probably even read the second one.

Both leads are likeable, interesting people but what definitely made this story worth reading was the premise. I
This was closer to 3.5 but I rounded up. this was a very quick read: once I started I didn't want to stop. I got very caught up in the intrigues of the two main characters and the danger they faced if their covers were blown.

That said, the world building needed some serious work. The plot focuses very tightly on the lives of Athan and Soliel, Laurentine spies in the enemy Corhonase citadel. Great for character development. But not so great for the larger picture. Questions I had were never addr
The beginning started really well; it had a fantasy-mystery vibe and I was quite excited. As the book progressed it segued into a romance-fantasy and I started to lose interest. It took me a few months before I finally finished it. As a fantasy I felt there was a big fail. There wasn't any resolution to the world or even really any progression of whatever the conflict/journey was. If the world is meant to continue with different characters, or even with these, I would have expected some movement ...more
A third page turner in a row that kept me way too late to finish it :)

A romantic fantasy, as well as a suspense novel, The Laurentine Spy first 250 pages are some of the most suspenseful I've read in a long time.

We follow "Three" aka Saliel aka Lady *** which is a Laurentine young woman posing as a low-level noblewoman at the Citadel, one of the power centers of the rival Corhonese Empire, where a dissolute imperial prince and his powerful and tough Consort lord over a Victorian style court
Alana Kelly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The set-up for this story is that spies that have infiltrated the enemy citadel and what happens when the subtly named "Spycatcher" comes to court. Oh, the turmoil!

There were things about the plot that made this story very interesting. I enjoyed the world that Gee created and the idea of spies within the Corhonase citadel. Every action the characters are forced to take brings with it a risk which makes the pages turn a lot faster. :)

Yet there were aspects about the characters that I really did n
I was very pleasantly surprised with Thief with no Shadow when I read it some time ago. It had just the right amount of plot, romance, character development and world building. Unfortunately, the same can't really be said about The Laurentine Spy.

Although I enjoyed it somewhat, the overall story doesn't really have a plotline built on an understandable background. It has no detail, no exploration, no foundation. This because the book is basically just a romance story, with shades of a plot that
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2009: Heavens above - a Mills and Boon fantasy. I must be so way outside the target market. I found this to be pure drivel. Far removed from quality fiction. I am sure that this novel will appeal to some segments of the population though. Not recommended for hardened fantasy fans. "Her shoulders brushed rock on either side as she slipped through the narrow opening. The block of stone swung quietly back into place, shutting her in stale darkness. She was no longer alone. She saw nothing, heard no ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deva Fagan
Sep 29, 2009 Deva Fagan added it
Shelves: 2009-read
I found this an enjoyable read, particularly the first two-thirds, which are driven primarily by the tension of the premise: spies in the court of an enemy kingdom, who meet anonymously and thus don't recognize one another when they meet in public, struggling to fulfill their mission before a cruel spycatcher finds them out. I found the last third of the book was somewhat less satisfying as it seemed to rely more on the interpersonal angst of the main characters to provide tension. For me, this ...more
This is basically a romance novel masquerading as a fantasy novel, but it's still a decent book. The story occasionally suffers when the romance in emphasized over the fantasy plot line, but the author has a well developed world with several distinct cultures that are easy to understand and yet foreign enough to feel like we're being invited into another world. The characters are largely likeable (although they are scared so much of the time you have to wonder how they ever got up the courage to ...more
This book starts off very slowly -- to the point where I wondered why I was still reading it. Somehow, I just couldn't put it down, though.
There are elements of a traditional romance novel here (although not the "sex every three pages" thing), and a nice political intrigue that makes sense and is well played out.
I'm not sure I would give this to a young person (there's a fairly negative sex scene that's effectively rape -- it's not played in any way for titillation, and it's not dwelt upon, but
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Emily grew up in a house full of words and books -- her mother worked as a librarian and her father was a novelist – so perhaps it’s not surprising that she became a writer.
She loves to travel and has lived in Sweden, backpacked in Europe, and journeyed overland in the Middle East, China, North Africa, and North America. She enjoys climbing hills, yoga workouts, and watching reruns of Buffy the Va
More about Emily Gee...
The Sentinel Mage (The Cursed Kingdoms, #1) Thief With No Shadow The Fire Prince (The Cursed Kingdoms, #2) Thief with No Shadow The Blood Curse (Cursed Kingdoms, #3)

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