Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where the Light Falls” as Want to Read:
Where the Light Falls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where the Light Falls

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,046 ratings  ·  357 reviews
Set in Revolutionary Paris, a rich and sweeping novel about courage, duty, sacrifice, and love by the bestselling author of Sisi, Allison Pataki, and her brother, Owen Pataki.

From the courtrooms to the battlefields to the alleyways of Paris, with cameos from infamous figures in French history, the Patakis have crafted an epic, action-packed novel of the French Revolution a
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Dial Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where the Light Falls, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,046 ratings  ·  357 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Where the Light Falls
Angela M
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know very much about the French Revolution or really very much about this time in French history at all. While I was interested in the historical aspects of this book, my choice to read it was mostly based on the descriptions of the characters in the book blurb which appealed to me, as well as the desire to just read something different. It was through some fascinating characters, some fictional, some real people and some based on real people that the events of the times and the spirit o ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1792, Paris. Three years after the beginning of The French Revolution, more than half the population of Paris was still starving. Hunger, anger, and hatred created bloodlust on execution day at La Place de la Revolution. Based upon The Law of Suspects, "a mere rumor of a man's royalist leanings...was substantial enough to send him on a tumbril ride to the guillotine." The crowd cheered as heads rolled. Anyone could be seized, jailed and subsequently guillotined.

Andre Valiere joined the revolutio
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Winter, 1792. What an amazing beginning! This book starts off with a bang. Or should I say a swoosh?

From there, we go back in time a few months as Jean Luc St. Clair works for the new government cataloging the properties and goods that formerly belonged to the nobility. He is caught up in the new order and the formation of the new government. His chapters alternate with Andre Valiere’s story, a captain in the Revolutionary Army. This was a part of the French Revolution I knew nothing about. It
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Thanks to Goodreads, the authors, and the publisher for the early copy of Where the Light Falls. If you remember anything about the French Revolution from history class, you remember The Terror; and that is vividly depicted in this book. There was clearly a great deal of research to write this novel, and I love that the authors are siblings. I have read and enjoyed The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki and have been looking forward to WTLF.

This was a slow-building historical, which worked we
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
If anyone tries to tell you that our American Revolution was just like the one carried on in France, all you need to do is to point them in the direction of this novel to disabuse them of that concept.

The French Revolution was a bloody horrible time in which men women, and children were wantonly marched to the guillotine because of either having royal blood or being suspected of possibly having said something that might be interpreted as being in support of the monarchy. A simple passing word o
Cindy Burnett
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Where the Light Falls appealed to me because I have not read much about the French Revolution. Allison Pataki and her brother Owen tackle the subject matter with finesse and detail providing me with the opportunity to feel as if I was there experiencing the trials and tribulations of the revolution and its aftermath. I found the book to be a nice change of pace from WW I and WW II historical fiction and enjoyed the author’s note at the end explaining which individuals actually existed and which ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to NETGALLEY for an uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review.

Superb! Fantastic! The historical fiction of the summer that will sweep readers back to revolutionary France. This book was AMAZING and really made me feel as if I was present during the Reign of Terror. I loved the characters, the writing, the atmosphere, the collaboration between Allison and Owen etc. Hands down one of my favorite books about the time period.
BAM Endlessly Booked
Many thanks to Allison Pataki, Owen Pataki, Random House, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

This is the trailer park version of A Tale of Two Cities and Les Mis . Set during the French Revolution it involves the values of fraternity and equality, but there was little in the plot that affected my emotions. Lawyers battle to outwit each other, soldiers strive to survive. Will love conquer all?
For those who are only interested in a good story set durin
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This book brings interesting historical facts skillfully woven into the story with vivid imagination of the chaotic French Revolution. However, the most interesting parts are short, leaving to wish more for such scenes. For example, a lawyer representing poor widow expelled from her property. This reveals not only a dramatic situation of the common people of that period, but also an ancient law of the Landlord Right. Instead the book is filled with scenes that I found stagnant, not moving the st ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great historical fiction about the French Revolution! This was such a readable book. From the very first chapter I was pulled into the drama, the hate, and the desperation that was France at that time. The characters, both historical and fictional, were well-drawn, interesting, and easy to connect to. I have read several books on the same subject/time period and was worried that might affect my reading experience, but my fears were in vain. The writing really was so good! Clear, colorful, atmosp ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
What I treasure most about historical fiction is when a novel is educational. Where the Light Falls delivers on this front in a large way. Through the pages of Where the Light Falls and two separate story lines, I visited Paris during the French Revolution. The novel spans from 1792 to 1798.

I was drawn in during the initial pages as the story begins with a man headed to the guillotine. After that scene though my interest waned until around page 100. For the final 2/3rd of the novel, I was compl
Jocelyn Green
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The amount of research the authors must have done for this novel is staggering. I think they did a very admirable job weaving the history and fictional characters and plotlines together. I especially appreciated that they showed both the positive ideals of the French Revolution as well as the chaos and butchery that came from it. In the author's note, they state that they hoped the novel could educate as well as entertain, and I'd say those aims were apparent with all the rich historical detail ...more
Kristen McDermott
This review appears in Historical Novels Review 81 (August 2017):
Two idealistic young men’s fates entwine during the trial of General Christophe de Kellermann, a hero of the French Revolution. Jean-Luc St. Clair is the idealistic young lawyer tasked with Kellermann’s defense, and André de Valiere is the son of a guillotined nobleman who hopes to redeem himself with a distinguished military career; they are the focal characters in this earnest but flatly executed novel of life in Paris during the
Susan Peterson
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Where the Light Falls is compelling historical fiction; a sweeping saga which takes place during the French Revolution, from the battlefields to the courts of law to the modest homes of its citizens and even to the horrors of La Place de Revolution where the guillotine performed its ugly deeds. This story is centered around four protagonists; a young idealist lawyer and his wife, and a former nobleman turned soldier and the woman he loves. These four bring heart and emotions to this story as we ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The era of the French Revolution is not my normal choice for historical fiction, so this book definitely took me by surprise! Thank you to Andrea over at Great Thoughts, Great Readers and NetGalley for the pleasure of getting to read this advanced copy. The groundwork and research that went into this novel is fascinating and I absolutely loved reading something I haven't really read more of in the past. The characters are well written and the story develops and intertwines quite nicely throughou ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-my-collection
I was sadly disappointed with the book overall. It was slow, the characters were flat and the final "showdowns" were so over the top stupid they were rather unfulfilling after 380 pages.

The book follows two characters during the French Revolution. One is an overly just and good lawyer in a sea of corrupt and evil ones. The other is an overly just and good solider in a sea of incompetent and/or evil generals. Both are desperate to keep their heads down so as to not face the guillotine. Both have
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS: A Novel of the French Revolution" very much lives up to its billing. Upon turning the page, the reader quickly finds him/herself in Paris during the winter of 1792. The deposed King and Queen of France are imprisoned, awaiting trial for treason. The city is in tumult as men with radical ideas and a penchant for dispensing violent, retributive 'justice' have taken control of the national government. Along the streets in a horseborne tumbril are several condemned persons be ...more
Jean Kolinofsky
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a review. Set in Paris in the years after the revolution, Allison and Owen Pataki have written a story that reflects the chaos and terror of the time. Opening with the last days of aristocrat Alexandre de Valiere, they take you from his prison cell to La Place de la Revolution where the guillotine awaits. Andre Valiere, son of the doomed aristocrat, has renounced his title and lands and serves in the army, hoping t ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that my knowledge of French Revolution history is minimal. I tend to focus on WWI and WWII, but this story of the French Revolution was so engaging that I plan to go back and learn a bit more. The story takes place after the storming of the Bastille, many titled people have already gone to the guillotine and the new republic is trying to take hold. The story is really 2 stories ones, that of Andre, Army captain whose father was guillotined, but he has sworn his allegiance to the ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
Holy epic crap, Batman! I kept reading because I was intrigued and the number of five star reviews made me think I was missing something. Well, I was, plot, details, interesting explanations about what motivated the characters, the list goes on and on. It was so predictable and trite, that it is actually insulting. I am angry I wasted time on this one. Save yourselves!
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Two in a row - very well written and quite good book, with violence and brutality. This one is set in the French Revolution, and features both real life figures, and three likable characters that intertwine that you can really root for.

Taking place during the Reign of Terror, thing Guillotines. There was a lot of lopping off of heads for virtually no reason, with no justice in sight. While it was historically accurate, it was scary and sad in places. Loved the story of the created characters an
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 I don't read a lot of books on the French Revolution but Les Miserables is one of my favorite musicals. So I wasn't sure what to expect picking this one up but I was pulled in immediately to the stories of Jean-Luc, Andre and Sophie. How they intertwined their stories was wonderful.

What hell the Revolution must have been. It shows that those calling for one don't always really have the best interest of the people at the heart.

I highly recommend this novel for all historical fiction fans,
2.5 stars - It was alright, an average book.

Not painful, but also not very remarkable or memorable. The authors did do a good job of conveying the disorder and chaos that ensued at the start of the revolution, but otherwise it was a bit of a slog and overall a let down.
First Sentence: He hears them before he sees them, a swell of thousands, young and old, male and female, clamoring from the other side of the prison walls.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received (actually my wife did) this book through a Give-away on Good reads in exchange for an honest review.

I originally rated this book a 4, but after a couple of weeks of thinking about this review, I upped it to a 5. I really enjoy Allison Pataki's writing style. For me it is very easy to read, and flows along smoothly. I enjoy the details of description, but they never become overbearing. That being said, I noticed a difference in the ebb and flow in certain sections of the book. For exam
Jan 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ummmm what just happened here??

While I understand that the authors felt it necessary to change history for their storyline and plot — at what point does it become less historical and more fiction.
Fine- write a new book loosely based on real events. But once you start out with real people and real events in your novel you cross into different territory.
This book was part historical novel, part daytime soap opera and a whole lotta fiction.
I read this book with hopes of finding out more about the F
J.S. Dunn
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Same issues as with The Accidental Empress : shallow characterizations, neither daily life's details nor the large, critical events are filled in to ensconce the reader and enable understanding. The history here, other than a series of 'scenes' like shuffled cards, is incidental wallpaper and mere backdrop to the soap opera.

This is historical fiction ultra-lite.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
To think I was so excited to read this book...

The premise is great--the French Revolution--but the story telling is lacking. I just couldn't bring myself to care about the characters, who were two-dimensional. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad. I struggled to finish reading the book, skimming towards the end.
nikkia neil
Thanks Random House Publishing Group - Random House and netgalley for this ARC.

The Pataki's have succeeded in writing a fresh, unique, and stimulating novel about the revolution. I loved the personal stories all converging into a explosive finale.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Anna by: goodreads, mymediamall
"The thing that Robespierre recognized," Merignac continued, ignoring Gavreau, "and that the fool of a king never did, is that anger is so much more potent than love. The Bourbon tried to appeal to people's better natures. He told them he loved them as a father loves his children. They don't want to hear that. They are hungry and enraged and they want someone to tell them that they are right to be so. ... Why not harness the power of the people and generate force from all of this splendid chaos. ...more
In compliance with FTC guidelines -- I received this book from Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine.

More accurate rating is 4.5 stars

Fantastic historical novel! It did what I thought up until a few weeks ago was impossible -- made the French Revolution engaging and exciting! Ok , I suppose I should clarify my comment. I love historical fiction of all times periods and locations but
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Where the Light Falls, by Allison Pataki, 3.8 2 13 Feb 17, 2019 01:48PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The First Actress
  • Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution's Women
  • The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
  • Becoming Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette, #1)
  • China: The Novel
  • John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow
  • The White Rose
  • Dead Man's Ransom (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #9)
  • Last Port of Call
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
  • Confessions of Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette, #3)
  • Building a Trauma-Informed Restorative School: Skills and Approaches for Improving Culture and Behavior
  • Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream
  • The Women of Chateau Lafayette
  • God in the Rainforest: A Tale of Martyrdom and Redemption in Amazonian Ecuador
  • Die Verlorenen
  • The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer
See similar books…

Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, has been featured on The TODAY Show, The NY Times, The Huffington Post, USA Today, FOX News, Morning Joe, and more.

Visit to connec

Related Articles

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list, we...
15 likes · 1 comments