I’m starting this week of with a couple of book reviews. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on J’Nell Ciesielski’s The Brilliance of Stars. If you don’t have this on your TBR pile be sure to add it!
About the Book
Amid the chaos of the Great War, two master assassins risk it all for love.
Washington DC, 1914. Ivy Olwen knows how to survive on the streets without two coins to rub together. But when she finds herself whisked into a secret society that seeks to maintain the balance of good and evil in the world, she can’t believe there’s more to life than just surviving. In the hallowed and historied halls of Talon, she learns European languages and ballroom dancing, as well as demolitions and sharpshooting—in short, everything a spy and assassin will need to survive in the field.
The first day Jack Vale meets Ivy, he knows she is not to be underestimated. The second day, he knows his heart will belong to no one else. Between sparring bouts and constellation gazing, Jack takes Ivy under his wing, and the two form a bond that soon turns to love.
While the rest of the world tumbles into war, the two embark on an official mission to take down a madman who has left a trail of blood and murder across Russia. Little do they know the unfathomable peril waiting in the wings of a chaotic Europe.
When Jack and Ivy are thrust into encounters each more terrifying than the last, Ivy must determine how far she will go to save the man she loves. Equal parts historical fiction and adventure novel, Ciesielski’s epic tale of espionage and romance will leave readers both enchanted and thrilled.
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Oh my stars! This book was epic!!
When I first saw the cover of The Brilliance of Stars I just assumed it was another historical romance that Ms. Ciesielski is known for. Since I didn’t read the blurb, I still had that in mind. In the back of my mind, I vaguely remember her talking about being inspired by the Winter Soldier, but still, I didn’t make the connection.
Then I started reading the book and was hook! From the opening line, page, and on and on as I read about Jack and Ivy. I fell in love with their story, with the fast-paced action plot line. I also fell in love with the secondary characters and the whole world Ms. Ciesielski built.
I could continue on by saying that Jack has the most swooniest lines and my Kindle copy may have highlights marking such occasions. Or I could talk about how tough Ivy is and how I’d want her as a friend because using your love for story to become a spy makes me tip my imaginary hat to her. Or I could even say how Phillip (one of the secondary characters) has me churned up in side waiting to know the outcome.
But more importantly, I want to say, go buy this book. It has suspense, romance in spades, an eye opening spotlight in history, and style uniquely Ms. Ciesielski. All of that makes this book readable and re-readable in my opinion.
I can’t wait for book 2!!
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.
About the Author
Bestselling author and with a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. She is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.
Represented by Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency