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The Emperor's Conspiracy

(Regency London #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,024 ratings  ·  192 reviews
From nineteenth-century London’s elegant ballrooms to its darkest slums, a spirited young woman and a nobleman investigating for the Crown unmask a plot by Napoleon to bleed England of its gold.

Chance led to Charlotte Raven’s transformation from chimney sweep to wealthy, educated noblewoman, but she still walks a delicate tightrope between two worlds, unable to turn her ba
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Gallery Books
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3.53  · 
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 ·  1,024 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
This was a very poorly written book, with an incredible, inconceivably perfect Mary Sue of a character, with inexplicable insta-love. It is categorized under such genres as "Historical Romance," "Mystery Thriller." Both, all, really, would be wrong. I would like to suggest another genre under which this book should be shelved. "Terrible."

I don't always have to like the main character in order to love the book, but more often than not, the main character and his or her gradual development makes o
Stephanie (Bookfever)
The Emperor's Conspiracy is a brilliantly written Historical Fiction with a dash of romance. Not only did I love the entire novel, I was completely entranced by the amazing plot, rich details and striking characters that sucked me right into nineteenth-century London until the very last words.

This story is about Charlotte Raven, who once was a poor chimney sweep until Lady Catherine Howe took her in after Charlotte became trapped in her chimney. Charlotte never lost her ties to the streets thoug
Blodeuedd Finland
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
It started so good..and yes it continued to be that good! :D

It was a nice mix of historical fiction, suspense, mystery and romance. Charlotte the heroine was no simpering miss of the ton. She used to live in the slum, daughter of a whore, worked as a chimney sweep but was saved by a nice lady and raised as her ward. While still be connected to the underworld. Oh yes I loved that premise at once.

In this story there is a mystery too. Gold smuggled out of England and a Lord who tries to figure out
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2012

When Michelle Diener contacted me to offer a review copy of this book, I was interested, but mainly because Michelle lives in Australia and therefore I could count this book for several challenges. And then I noticed that Amy from Historical Fiction Virtual Tours was running a tour for the book. I volunteered because then not only would I intend to read it, I would actually read it and in a timely fashion! The thing is though, by the time I finished the book, I was happy to have read the book, n
Jane Stewart
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
The first third was good, but the rest had me wishing it were over.

There was a lot of dull conversation. The ending was not well resolved. Someone gives evidence to someone but we’re not sure what will be done with that evidence. I wanted to see specific things happen to bad guys. The ending was too murky.

I really enjoyed Dark Horse by this author. So I thought I’d try this book. Sadly, it wasn’t as good.

Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 317 pages. Swearing language: mild including
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have both of Michelle Diener’s other books on my TBR pile. When the chance came to review this book, I was keen because, apart from the beautiful cover, I knew it would force me to move this author up in the queue—something I had been meaning to do. Review books get priority! :) The conspiracy of the title is actually true—Napoleon did try to bankrupt Britain by stealing all of their guineas. Who’d have thunk?

I went into the book thinking it was a romance but it isn’t really. It’s an historica
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
"The Emperor's Conspiracy" is the story of Charlotte "Charlie" Raven, who goes from lowly chimney sweep to full-fledged society lady and her difficulty with having her toes in both of the worlds she is so familiar with. On one hand, she still remembers what it was like to be a child forced to work but still loving that world and the people that she knew in it but those very people could get her deeply into trouble. On the other hand, she absolutely relishes her position as a rich and educated wo ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book's heroine either needed to be a lot less anachronistic in her attitudes and experiences or the book a lot less staidly historical. The love triangle, such as it was, wasn't compelling either. MY LORD AND SPYMASTER has a heroine with a similar background, but the narrative works to make it believable (or at least match the tone and believability of the rest of the world).
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

I hate to damn The Emperor's Conspiracy with faint praise, but the best adjectives I can come up with to describe it are: Decent. Okay. Not bad. Adequate. I was entertained, but never invested or engrossed in the story. All in all, it was an alright novel with less than perfect characterization. It also wasn't the exciting mystery I had hoped to get, and at times this read much more like a historical romance than a historical fiction novel... but it
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
The cover drew me to The Emperor’s Conspiracy, the synopsis had me grab it and the novel captivated me. Michelle Diener’s novel has elements I love in a good book; suspense, mystery and a side dish of romance all set in nineteenth century London. I adored the unique characters and the plot against the crown. I was captivated by this tale and could not put it down.

Our heroine Charlotte Raven’s by all appearances looks to be the perfect lady with an impeccable reputation. Charlotte has many secret
**Find this and other reviews at The Demon Librarian book blog**

I cut my reading teeth on historical romances. I can still remember the first time my mom put a Victoria Holt book into my hands, and later, when my older sister and I discovered the joys of Georgette Heyer. To this day, I've got a soft spot for the genre.

The Emperor's Conspiracy is a very different type of historical novel. Set in England during the Napoleonic Wars, it contains the usual lords and ladies, balls and gowns, and of
Olga Godim
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of light historical fiction
Shelves: historical
This review was originally published at StoryCircleBookReviews:

A spy thriller intertwined with a romantic triangle, set in Regency England, with a peek into high society, a whiff of the gutters, and a dollop of blackmail. Such a recipe couldn’t fail but produce an engaging tale of history and mayhem.
The heroine Charlotte was the daughter of a whore. The girl worked as a chimney sweep since she was four, but at twelve, luck smiled at her: she was adopted
The Emperor's Conspiracy is a blend of historical fiction and mystery with some romance. Historical mysteries are one of my favorite types of reads and I thought this one was well done. I liked that it wasn't too heavy on the romance, there were a couple of times I thought it might go there but it didn't. My only complaint would be that it ends too abruptly.
Jen Adams
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very light and easy read. If you're looking for historical fiction that takes you away from your own world for a few hours, this is it. Not something that will sit in the best books of all time but hit the spot, which is why I go 4 stars.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This title will be published on 27 November 2012; review copy courtesy of Gallery Books and Edelweiss

4.5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – although it eventually missed out on getting a 5 star rating, of which more later.

The heroine, Charlotte Raven is an unusual one in that she was once a street urchin and has retained her links to London’s underworld, mainly through her friendship with Luke Bracken, who has risen through the ranks of the criminal fraternity to become what we might now term
Burgandy Ice
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*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 p
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoy the historical fiction genre and I am careful about which ones I accept because I as I have stated before I am always scared I will get bogged down with facts and history in a historical novel. Not that it has happened yet and it definitely did not happen with The Emperor's Conspiracy.

The Emperor's Conspiracy is a very fast-paced plot based novel that had me flipping the pages as fast as I could to find out what would happen next in Charlotte Raven's world. I had no doubt that
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, ebook-arc
For this review and more visit my blog

*I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

The emperor’s Conspiracy took me quite by surprise; it was not what I thought it would be at all. I was expecting a normal historical windswept romance (of which I am a fan) instead I got an entertaining and complex mystery with plenty of heart.

This book is clever in the way that all its numerous plots and twists tie themselves and you in knots, there is a lot going on, a lot to
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
3.5 stars! Also on
Source: ARC from the author.

This was again a book from Diener I really enjoyed. I think I can put her on the list of favorite authors now, because her stories always deliver.

Charlotte grew up with Lady Howe after her employer left her in the chimney. She always disguised herself as a boy, but Lady Howe gave her a life as a woman. Otherwise, she would still live a hard life on the streets with her friend Luke. He is now a London Crime
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*slight spoilers ahead*
What a fabulous book! I haven't enjoyed historical fiction that much since... You know, I can't even remember.

Straight from the beginning this is non-stop action full of mystery and fantastic characterization. I think, the main heroine, Charlotte Raven is the one who made this book. Who owned this book.

She is pure kickass awesomeness. This is no wishy-washy simpering miss, who cries and thinks about her feelings way too much because she hasn't had anything else to worry ab
SOS Aloha
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. - Democritus

Michelle Diener burst onto the historical fiction scene last year with her debut thriller set in Tudor England, IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. For THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, she delivers an equally engaging suspense set in Regency England. Diener steps out of the grand ballrooms to give us a glimpse of gritty London – both in the stews and in the aristocracy who grovel in their selfish pleasures. Charlotte
Book of Secrets
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY was an enjoyable read filled with mystery, a touch of romance, and rich historical details about London life at the dawn of the 19th century. From the memorable opening chapter to the unexpected ending, the story kept me engaged.

England's gold is disappearing fast, and Lord Edward Durnham is assigned to find out who is behind it before the economy suffers. It takes the help of a very unique young woman to put the pieces of the mystery together.

I loved the heroine Charlot
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
This is, without doubt, one of the worst books I've ever read. People, it is even worse than Twilight.

I can forgive a trite plot if the characters or the writing are engaging, and I can forgive poor writing if the plot, characters, or concepts are awesome, but this book melds terrible writing with a boring, trite, cliche, unrealistic plot and boring, trite, cliche, unrealistic characters.

This is a book that completely ignores any ideas of "show, not tell". We are repeatedly told how wonderful a
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
OMG! So amazing! Unfortunately I took some time to read the book, because of my exams...BUT I WON THIS BOOK ! I was so lucky ! Thanks goodreaders!

But! I truly love the book! While reading I felt like my world would be the 19th century!
I honestly like the idea that the main character hasn’t lost her roots!
I also like the romance! For me the touch of romance is perfect.
I also love the detailed character and how complex the relations are.
Very detailed book! Also a plus!
I also love the writing style
Stephanie Thornton
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
The stunning cover of Michelle Diener's latest historical novel caught my attention, but the characters kept me turning the pages so I finished the book in a couple days. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the rise of Charlotte Raven (great name!) from chimney sweep to society darling, especially as she retains her ties to London's dark underworld. Lord Edward Durham, a secret agent for Britain's crown, is a great foil for the heroine, and the verbal sparring matches between the two are great fu ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, though it was difficult to slot. A friend rightly categorized it a historical mystery with romantic elements. And the romance is understated, so zippo steam here. The relationship between Charlotte and Edward reminds me of Courtney Milan's couples--intelligent and respectful. And like Milan, respect is used to build exquisite tension between them. Now, either for good or bad, the most fascinating person for me was the secondary character, Luke. Great hardship and personal tr ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I love the genre of historical fiction, and I didn't feel this book was as masterfully woven in plot and dialogue as many other books in this same genre. At times the dialogue felt forced, cliche, and stilted.
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Michelle Diener is a bestselling, award-winning author of historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy. Having worked in publishing and IT, she's now very happy crafting new worlds and interesting characters and wondering which part of the world she can travel to next.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she

Other books in the series

Regency London (3 books)
  • Banquet of Lies (Regency London, #2)
  • A Dangerous Madness (Regency London, #3)
“She hadn't seen him since yesterday, and Charlotte did not understand the sensation that gripped her at the sight of him.
As if she were a lightning rod, waiting for the storm above to strike. As if she had lost all control over her life and was thrown into chaos.”
“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.”
More quotes…