This summer, I finally read Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars which I loved so much I almost turned to the first page and just read the whole thing again. (Instead, I picked up the inspirational material: Jane Austen's Persuasion). And earlier in the year (or maybe late last year...) I blew through the Secret Society Girls series. Needless to say, I was counting down the days for Peterfreund's latest book, set in the same world as For Darkness Shows the Stars, and a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernell.
Across a Star-Swept Sea had all the things I love about Peterfreund's books - a vivid world, interesting characters, a well-placed plot, friendship, family, and swoony romance. Because I loved this book's companion so much, I did have to remind myself at the beginning that this was a completely different book - where as FDStS was about love and duty and freedom, this book is about power, revolution, making your own choices, and recovering from mistakes. There's intrigue and espionage, and a healthy dose of secret keeping (which is always so frustrating! But...you know...sometimes in a good way when it comes to stories). It was interesting to see a new side of the same world -- both civilizations reacting to the same historical events, but in radically different ways. One of the other things that stood out to me in this book were the villians. The Scarlet Pimpernell is set during the French Revolution, an event in history that gives me chills when I read about it, a sobering example of good ideas gone horribly, horribly wrong. Peterfreund really captured that sense of overwhelming vengeance, hypocrisy, and lust for power in the villians of Across a Star-Swept Sea.
Bottom line: if you just love a good story, pick up this book.