I Liked it very much— but there are two versions. I read this book in German as well as in English, and the German version is very different in parts, and it makes more sense. In the English version, Genevieve finds the tower door left unlocked after her uncle leaves, and she slips out of the house. In the German version her mother comes to the tower and tells her to leave, suggesting she take herself to the Salpetrieve or drown herself in the river which is for people like her. In the English version, she’s briefly shown a magic trick as a way of teaching her to be a cardsharp. In the German version, there are several pages about her baptism into her new identity as Morville which are left out of the English version and more of her training by La Sage. Some things are left out of the the German version. In the English, she explores La Voisin’s house and finds peepholes, secret speaking tubes, etc. This is left out of the German version. In the German version all the 3rd person scenes about the police are left out, but there is more about her birth and time in foster care. In one version something might be said by La Voisin, which is said by someone else in the other version. Some of the translations are just inaccurate: when asked how long since she’s been in the ‘other world’, Genevieve say two weeks in English, and three days in German. In a way the English versions seems like a condensed version of the German, but that can’t be; the author was American and the book was written in English. When it came time for translations did she rewrite the book?
I wish there was a version in English incorporating all the info from book books. However lacking that, the German version is better, there is more understanding of why something happened and deeper characterization. And while I understand why the author put I. Those 3rd person police interludes, to build suspense (ah, they are on to Cato the Censor, and he isn’t aware of just how much) and take a look at the main characters from another angle), they really aren’t needed.
I would like an explanation from the publishers as to why there are two versions of the book, and even more so, I would love to have the two versions edited together so that all the missing pieces from one or the other were united in one book.
Versions aside, I very much enjoyed this book. If historical fiction is a favorite you should enjoy this book. I recommended it to my historical fiction book club.
- Paperback: 534 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (6 November 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402270585
- ISBN-13: 978-1402270581
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 3.2 x 12.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 544 g
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