In this, the fourth installment of the Roger Brook series, we are thrown full pelt into the climax of the revolution, where his mission to rescue the dauphin takes us from the overthrow of the Royal Famility in August 1792, through the executions of the king and queen, the rise and fall of Marat, Danton and Herbert, the wars with Austria and France, the Great Terror, to the eventual overthrow of Robespierre himself.
The attention to detail is absolute, the facts are 100% accurate, and the tension gripping. Often rare in a Wheatley novel, we actually get a hugely emotional ride, as well as the usual all out action. the twists and turns are magnificent, and fit in well with the blood and gore of the subject matter (it is not only the guillotine that bodes so ominously over our hero and his allies, but a host of other fiendish methods of killing). This magnificent novel really hits home the realities of the revolution, and gives us a great insight into the charcters - both good and bad - on both sides. Perhaps the most poignant storyline is that featuring the beautiful Athenais, who commits the ultimate act of sacrifice in order to save the one she loves. The ending (which the title hints at) is one of the greatest ever. Without doubt, the best of the series - and the definitive French Revolution novel.
Members' book reviews and comments
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
Unofrtuantely I found this one of his worst efforts I've read to date. Over-long and very boring. Wheatley just hasn't a historians talent to make the events of the Franch revolutin appear exciting. I found it hard to believe that Roger Brook could flit back and forth over the channel so much and still not be found out to be a British Spy. The end, though very dramtic and a real eye-opener was also very silly.