Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: Two Empresses by Brandy Purdy

Title: Two Empresses
Author: Brandy Purdy
Format: ARC
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: January 31, 2017
Source: Author

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "1779, France. On the island paradise of Martinique, two beautiful, well-bred cousins have reached marriageable age. Sixteen-year-old Rose must sail to France to marry Alexander, the dashing Vicomte de Beauharnais. Golden-haired Aimee will finish her education at a French convent in hopes of making a worthy match.

Once in Paris, Rose’s illusions are shattered by her new husband, who casts her off when his mistress bears him a son. Yet revolution is tearing through the land, changing fortunes—and fates—in an instant, leaving Rose free to reinvent herself. Soon she is pursued by a young general, Napoleon Bonaparte, who prefers to call her by another name: Josephine.

Presumed dead after her ship is attacked by pirates, Aimee survives and is taken to the Sultan of Turkey’s harem. Among hundreds at his beck and call, Aimee’s loveliness and intelligence make her a favorite not only of the Sultan, but of his gentle, reserved nephew. Like Josephine, the newly crowned Empress of France, Aimee will ascend to a position of unimagined power. But for both cousins, passion and ambition carry their own burden."

My Two Cents:

"Two Empresses" is the story of Rose and Aimee, two cousins growing up on the island of Martinique. Their fates could not be more different. Rose will go on to become the consort of Napoleon in France. Aimee will become a part of the Turkish Sultan's harem. These are two fascinating stories and it is interesting to see two such different fates between members of the same family. This is the latest release from historical fiction author Brandy Purdy.

First off, this story kept me fascinated throughout the book. It's definitely a page turner because there is so much action throughout the story. That being said, you have two huuuuuge stories condensed into one fairly small book, which means that you're moving from one action to another so quickly that you hardly have time to stop and appreciate the interesting-ness of both Rose and Aimee's stories . Some of the book becomes a list of "then this happened," then this happened," and "then this happened." 

I wanted to get to know the characters a little more in this book. I have read both fiction and non-fiction about Rose (Napoleon's Josephine) before so she was a known entity to me at least. Aimee was brand new. Not as much is known about her so I felt like there was more of a story line based on what was known rather than just a list of facts as there seemed to be for most of the parts with Josephine in it. 

It is interesting that these two main characters were cousins but the various parts of the books felt like they were stuck together without having a true interwoven thread. That being said, both characters made great fodder for a book and I would love to be able to read more about them, particularly Aimee.


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