1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A delightful conceit,
This review is from: The Flower Reader (Kindle Edition)
I have to admit I was a little sceptical about the premise of The Flower Reader before reading it. A fictional character with magical flower-reading powers in possession of the infamous casket? It all sounded too far-fetched to be pulled off, too much of a Mary Sue insert. What a surprise, Elizabeth Loupas has created a wonderful, delightful tale in The Flower Reader.
It's written in first person present tense, which in my experience tends to be hit and miss, but it works better for stories like this, the personal tale of a fictional character in a historical setting. The success of this approach also depends on a well written fictional character who is both compelling in their own right and does not become a Mary Sue who warps the history. Rinette Leslie, I must concede, does warp history a little, but for me it was so slight that it didn't notice at all. As a character Rinette was interesting, but I admit I didn't find her compelling since her naivety wasn't something I really identified with. I applaud Loupas for making her so flawed and human, however, and resisting the urge to give Rinette a bigger role in historical events, or more power over her fate than she in fact has.
The compelling motivation that kept me turning the pages was who were the forces that wanted the casket, who was the murderer, and how would the casket end up in the hands of Mary Queen of Scots. I do have to admit that I guessed straight away who Rinette would end up with by the end of the novel, and who took the casket from the original hiding place, but there was still more than enough mystery to keep me reading.