£10.99
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
The Executioner's Heir: A... has been added to your Basket

Dispatch to:
To see addresses, please
Or
Please enter a valid UK postcode.
Or
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Executioner's Heir: A Novel of Eighteenth-Century France Paperback – 2 Sep 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£10.99
£8.85 £12.13
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
£10.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First edition (2 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492306797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492306795
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,944,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

About the Author

Susanne Alleyn has loved history all her life, aided and abetted by her grandmother, Lillie V. Albrecht, an author of historical children’s books in the 1950s and 60s. Susanne is the author of the Aristide Ravel historical mystery series, set in revolutionary Paris; A FAR BETTER REST, the reimagining of Dickens’s A TALE OF TWO CITIES; the nonfiction MEDIEVAL UNDERPANTS AND OTHER BLUNDERS: A WRITER’S (AND EDITOR’S) GUIDE TO KEEPING HISTORICAL FICTION FREE OF COMMON ANACHRONISMS, ERRORS, AND MYTHS; and A TALE OF TWO CITIES: A READER'S COMPANION, an annotated guide to the classic novel. Happy to describe herself as an “insufferable knowitall” about historical trivia, Susanne has been writing about and researching eighteenth-century and revolutionary France for nearly three decades. Read more at www.susannealleyn.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
UPDATE! I am updating this review, removing it from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel site, and restoring it to its proper place. This lovely book made it to the semi-finals of the contest only to be pushed aside by some works whose presence at that level mystified me--I read the pages available and the reviews, and gave up, shaking my head and wondering about reading tastes. True enough--we all have different tastes. While The Executioner's Heir did not make it to the top of this particular contest, it has been adopted as required reading in an upper level university seminar on penal institutions, punishment, and torture in Early Modern Europe. So the author is in excellent company, I think.

REVIEW: I was directed to Susanne Alleyn's Aristide Ravel mysteries by a kindly soul who'd read several of my reviews of very bad historical fiction set during the French Revolution, and who empathized with my despair about ever finding something not only historically accurate but also well-written. After devouring the four books in about a week, I wondered if that happy experience could ever be repeated. It was, not with another mystery, but with an eloquent, often stark, often very human story of a conflicted young man, his family, its occupation, and the burdens and constraints that singular occupation placed on them all. The novel moved between the darkness of the deeds Sanson was obligated to perform, and the light of his close-knit family life, the notion of sin, on the part of the guilty and on those who dispensed the king's justice, and redemption in the commingled art--and practice--of healing, and of treating the condemned with a dignity they perhaps never received in life.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
First Sentence: "This is the sword of justice," Jean-Baptiste told him, lifting it from its long, straw-lined, padlocked crate.

Due to the illness of his father and pressure from his grandmother, Charles-Henri Sanson is forced to assume the position and title as the fourth generation hereditary master executioner of Paris. It is a position of title and power. It is also a role into which one is born and has no choice but to assume as no other professions are open to the inheritor of that role. Yet Charles must both learn his position and strive to maintain his humanity while so doing.

Ms. Alleyn wisely provides a "Cast of Characters" at the beginning of this book. This is critical, and very helpful in avoiding confusion, as she is dealing with many members of one family. That she takes this family, whose profession is as terrible as one could imagine, and make them both human and sympathetic is a remarkable accomplishment.

Charles is the antithesis of what one would imagine for his role, yet part of the power of the book is that it breaks down stereotypes. He is, to paraphrase another character's observation, prosperous, has a good education, nice manners and is very, very handsome. He also despises what he does,..."It was rather pathetic, Charles often thought, that among the crowds who came to stare at public chastisement, the one least eager to be present was the man in charge of the business." Conversely, his grandmother and sister are very matter of fact about the profession and proud of the family's title and status. That conflict makes for a very thoughtful reading.

The story deepens with the introduction of an antagonist. Although she has so done throughout the story, it is at this point, Ms. Alleyn forcefully speaks to our emotions.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An extraordinary book, immaculately researched and beautifully written. The unusual subject matter is grim and some descriptions of executions and torture are horrific but necessary to the story. The characters, both real and imaginary, are brought to life by the author. The difficulties of their daily existence, the dilemas, family duties, loves and losses are all woven into a gripping but often tragic story. I learnt a great deal about France during this fascinating historic period and it certainly opened my eyes to life of executioners and their families. Despite the unpleasant subject matter I am glad I read the book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm no expert but this felt historically accurate and well researched and the character study was fascinating. I did find the detailed accounts of horrific tortures and executions hard to take, and I don't think the book would have worked without quite so much of that.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting book, not got to the bottom of it yet
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category