Chelsey's Reviews > The Emperor's Conspiracy

The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
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's review
Oct 29, 2012

really liked it
Read in December, 2012

This is the first book that I have read by Michelle Diener, but I do not think that I have read a negative review of anything that she has written. You all know how I much I love historical fiction, and I am rarely disappointed with this genre. Michelle took historical fiction to an entirely new level with this book because she captured a part of Regency England that I am not used to reading about: the grimy, disgusting streets filled with squalor. This book revolves around the life of Charlotte Raven, a girl who was fortunate enough to be taken away from the horrid streets and given a life of stability and solitude. Danger lurks all around her however, and because of her previous life this danger she cannot escape.

Charlotte or “Charlie” Raven never really leaves her past life behind and still strives to help those in need just as someone once helper her. Her story is not one that I could read in an easy manner. The past life that she was subjected to was awful, and though I am not so naïve to think that young children are not thrown out on the streets to fend for themselves, it is not something that I can digest easily. My heart went out to Charlotte and I found her character to be phenomenal. She took pity on those whose lives reminded her of the one that she was rescued from, and I commend her for that. It takes an incredibly strong person to turn back on the life you prayed for escape from, and to journey back into its ugly depths just to help others who need it.

This book is a very raw read and touches topics that I am not used to reading about, but it was such a wonderful change of events. I found myself going so deep into the reading and asking myself all these questions about what it took to write a novel about such a horrendous time in London’s history. This book may not be based on a factual story, but I am sure that the elements that make it up are very real. Sexual abuse, child abuse, brothels, and the list goes on and on. This is real historical fiction and I loved it. I found myself gritting my teeth and squinting my eyes to get through certain scenes and descriptions, but it is necessary to tell a story this vivid and real. This is not a mushy gushy love story and will give you a new outlook on what went on and still goes on down those grimy city alleyways.

I think Historical Fiction lovers will enjoy reading about this time period and will absolutely love Charlotte Raven’s story! This book also contains a reading guide so it would be perfect for book groups!

***A huge thank you to the publishers at Gallery Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

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