Burgandy Ice's Reviews > The Emperor's Conspiracy

The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
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Nov 27, 12

Read in August, 2012

*Huge sigh of satisfaction* This is THAT book, the one where history melts into the background, the writing disappears and players emerge spitting character and bold love so that... I sigh.

Charlotte - Charlie - is a great character. She's headstrong and intelligent. Her guardian/savior is the sweetest, smartest lady. It's a household of two great brains with different kinds of strength and I loved seeing the strong women.

Charlie's childhood friend, the crime lord, is so dark and mysterious and powerful. I loved the dirty grit of the streets and the society that pulsed beneath the city. There's no fluffy cuteness about it... it's as real as poverty.

Edward Durnham really doesn't have much of a chance of participating in Charlie's life or in this story, but he's stubborn and persistent and won't take "stay away" as an answer. He causes more trouble than he helps, sometimes, blundering where he doesn't belong. But his heart has been awoken and he understands Charlie in ways no one else can. I love his view of her and their romance is delicate and fresh.

I could hug the pacing... this book is hard to put down. It flies by. I might have been frustrated only because it ended and I could have continued reading their story for a long time.

My Rating: 5 - I need this book in my library so I can reread it often!! (I rec'd my ARC from Edelweiss.) I love a story that doesn't center around romance, but yet has some... a story that has so much tangible history, but doesn't clobber me with it... a mystery that I can't second-guess and is not overbearing. This is one of my favorite books this year.

Like this, Like that... I was reminded a little of Soulless, Alanna, & Crown Duel. There's a bit of mystery and smart players, a great thief and underworld, but also a play-acting society where appearances rule. I loved the smart new combination of some of my favorite elements!


Fav Quote:

He was suddenly furious. She could see it in the way his jaw clenched and his eyes flashed. She couldn't understand how one question could have such an effect on him.

"I." He drew in a seething breath. "Pay. You. Court. I offer you gifts, engage you in conversation, take you on outings with a chaperone. And..."

"And?"

"And then ask you to marry me." He almost spat it out.

"Because of the bet?" she asked, trying frantically to work it out. "Because someone has wagered on my reputation, you must marry me to save me?" She looked up, startled. "Why? I'm either dead or ruined by the end of this anyway."

"You are not. I won't let that happen. They will not win." He was all but shouting, stalking toward her. he grabbed her arms and gave her a little shake. "This time, the bastards don't win. I win."

"What do you win?" she whispered.

He bent his head and crushed his lips to hers.
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