- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 9757 KB
- Print Length: 430 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Lume Books (3 December 2018)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07HZ4C3K5
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 196 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,942 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Blue Kindle Edition
|Length: 430 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $2.99 after you buy the Kindle book.
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'Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books' - Alison Weir
'Definitely a winner!' - Kate Quinn
'The Blue is a fast-paced and highly engaging historical thriller packed with period detail and peopled with characters that the reader really grows to care about.' - NB Magazine
'Bilyeau's research is impeccable, taking what might have been a dreary industrial novel and making it into a living, breathing drama. Kudos and highly recommended!' - Historical Novel Society, and Editor's Choice
'...transports the reader into the heart of the 18th century porcelain trade--where the price of beauty was death.' - E.M. Powell, author of the Stanton & Barling medieval mystery series.
'Bilyeau is an impressive talent who brings to life a heart-stopping story of adventure, art and espionage during the Seven Years War.' - Stephanie Dray, bestselling author of My Dear Hamilton
'Historical fans will be well satisfied.' - Publishers Weekly
'With rich writing, surprising twists, and a riveting sense of 'you are there, ' The Blue is spine-tingling entertainment.' - Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins
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What I didn't expect was such a riveting novel full of intrigue, murder and history..
From the insights into the suffering and exile of the French followers of the Huguenot religion to the history of porcelain and the innovative colours used in its decoration in China, Germany, France and England the novel gives in depth explanation and sensitivity to the associated issues. All this is done using a series of colourful, flawed and motivated characters with a gripping plot.
The history and scientific content is never dull and always interesting.
There is even a wonderful descriptive segment capturing all the decadence and opulence of the court of KIng Louis XV.
Characterisation is strong. The telling of Madame Pompadour and Louis the 15th relationship is interesting.
Kept reading hoping it would improve, but it just seemed to get sillier.
Top international reviews
Derby is not the only factory wanting the elusive colour, and the book takes us to Versailles and the hermitage of Madame de Pompadour, and to the interior of the Sevres Factory for the final climax of the story. Well-researched and well-written, this will please anyone who loves the art of ceramics or a cracking adventure.
The Planches were real figures, and Derby porcelain was at the height of its popularity in the 18th Century. Nancy Bilyeau skilfully weaves the facts and fiction together to produce a highly entertaining glimpse of the world of porcelain. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this as an ARC for an honest review.
It would be a spoiler to say what happens and how the story ends.
The book is well written and there are huge chunks of history of porcelain and the discovery of colours. It is woven into the story reasonably well . The big problem for me was Genevieve’ character, feisty, emotional, modern enough to sleep with her first fiancé and Thomas. Not characteristic of a Huguenot upbringing. She no sooner thought of a solution to her problems than she rushed headlong into action, often disastrously. My other misgiving was the ending. I thought it limp and unlikely.
Other than that it was a good read.
Thus, set against the background of fierce industrial espionage and theft, Ms Bilyeau has cleverly crafted a novel beset with rivalry and murderous intent. Forced by her grandfather to leave London and decorate mere plates at a Derby porcelain works, the rebel minded Genevieve Planche sets out to realise her true artistic dream by committing to wilful deception. Equally on a quest to obtain a secret formula for translucent blue pigment, a dashing and charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay enlists the help of the disillusioned young would-be artist. Her imagined simple task at her appointed place of work soon tests her loyalties to differing people, and extreme guilt prevails. Worse, romantic entanglements past and present reveal her naivety to the ways of men, and a dream fulfilled by Courtenay is a price she is unwilling to pay and must suffer the consequences, unless—. Here is where I shall end my review in order to avoid ruination of a suspenseful story, except to say the novel is well written and reveals a great deal of history relevant to the protagonist’s lifetime and that of her family heritage.
The main character, a feisty and determined young woman called Genevieve Planche, dreams of being an artist.
A young Huguenot woman, raised in London, considers herself English and has a serve dislike for the french king.
However in these times it is unheard of for a woman to become an artist. Particularly in England and even more so in France.
Enter Sir Gabriel Courtenay. A rich gentleman that Genevieve meets at a party (unsurprisingly one she isn’t meant to be at!) and offers her the chance and finances to go to Venice, where such a dream may be achievable. However, there is a ‘little something’ he requires her to do in exchange for his offer. I will not give too much away here as this forms the main part of a good nail biting adventure story taking the reader from Spitalfields to Madame Pompadour’s residence at Versailles.
It is an interesting novel that effortlessly mingles fact with fiction that had me searching google to find out more about different topics, times and people mentioned throughout the book. A brilliantly paced novel, which made the book for me and also worked very well with reading it via The Pigeonhole app. Eagerly awaiting he next stave to continue the story.
I found this a great historical adventure with a great sense of time and place with some real life historical events sitting well in the background. The only gripe I personally had was that I felt the ending was a little to neat and quickly tied up. Like another review I have read I was imagining it ending on a cliff hanger and possibly a second book.