Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Ice Swan by J'nell Ciesielski #bookreview #historicalfiction #WWI


The Ice SwanThe Ice Swan by J'nell Ciesielski
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source:  Netgalley

Book Description: Amid the violent last days of the glittering Russian monarchy, a princess on the run finds her heart where she least expects it.

1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, Princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory. Svetlana and her family are forced into hiding in Paris’s underbelly, with little to their name but the jewels they sewed into their corsets before their terrifying escape.

Born the second son of a Scottish duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. After treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter. Intrigued by this mysterious, cold, and beautiful woman, Wynn follows Svetlana to an underground Russian club where drink, dance, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.

Out of money and options, Svetlana agrees to a marriage of convenience with the handsome and brilliant Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her family’s debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn cannot help hoping the marriage will turn into one of true affection. When Wynn’s life takes an unexpected turn, so does Svetlana’s—and soon Paris becomes as dangerous as Petrograd. And as the Bolsheviks chase them to Scotland, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.

The Ice Swan is a ray of light in the middle of a Europe that was sinking into darkness. Ciesielski’s talent for storytelling from the heart is a feast for the readers’ eyes.” —Mario Escobar, international bestselling author of Remember Me and Children of the Stars

Adventurous World War I historical romance
For fans of Kate Quinn, Beatriz Williams, and Aimie K. Runyan
Full-length, stand-alone novel (approx. 120,000 words)
Includes discussion questions for book clubs

My thoughtsThe Ice Swan is a beautiful story. I was easily caught up in the story that takes place during WWI. Princess Svetlana flees her Russian homeland with her mother and sister. They take very little with them, their clothes and a few jewels. It was interesting to read the story from the viewpoint of an ousted aristocrat, rather than from the revolutionists. She works hard to hold her family together in spite of her mother.

The three women find sanctuary in Paris, but not in deluxe accommodations. They are refugees that stay in the basement of a church with many others. An accident takes leads her to a Scottish surgeon. He is in Paris to operate on British soldiers. Dr. Edwynn MacCallin is taken with Svetlana immediately and hides his title as the second son of a Duke. He wants to be known for his own accomplishments and not be deferred to because of his social standing. I loved how he truly cared about people and was willing to offer his services to anyone in need.

The story takes the reader into the heart of the underground Russian refugees in Paris. It is a world of gambling, lasciviousness, and greed. Svetlana finds out firsthand how they work when she has to pay her mother's debts.

Svetlana's world is one of terror and unrest. The story begins in Russian and ends in Scotland. The reader is taken to three distinct cultures and countries. I was captivated by Svetlana and Edwynn's story. My words are not eloquent and it is hard to convey the feeling of the story.

I recommend this book. If I have time I would say that it is worth a re-read.

Source: I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Online Purchase Links:

(Amazon affiliate link included.)

About the Author: 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. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting. Each and every one is read and appreciated.
Have a wonderful day.