Tuesday, May 3, 2016

YA Review and Giveaway: Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

Once again, Anne Blankman has blown me away with her fascinating historical fiction tale.  With her other series, Prisoner of Night and Fog, I was totally grabbed by the version of Hitler told from kind of the other side, the Germans, the ones who did want him to be in charge, at least at first.  Traitor Angels brings me to a period of history that for the most part, I didn't know much about.  I'd heard of the poet John Milton, but never read much by him.  What I was most familiar with in this story was all of the scientists that were talked about.  I knew about Galileo and how he was in trouble with the church for his theories.  As a science teacher, those science bits really intrigued me and were part of what I loved about the story.  I didn't actually know much about the state of England at that time, and what was going on with their monarchs.  But the way this author tells a story, I know that I will now be researching and looking for other books or information on the history in this story.  

Not only is the story great, she really writes characters that just jump off the page.  That you can grow to love, and then to feel betrayed by or for.  The main character, Elizabeth Milton, well, she was a really strong character to follow and have lead us through this time in history.  Antonio, the Italian apprentice, how could anyone not fall in love with him?!  Then there was the king's illegitimate son, Robert.  He came into help them, but would he want to use the secrets to only help himself, or would he see the sense in what both Antonio and Elizabeth feel needs to be done.  And in the end, will it be Antonio or Robert who will still be on Elizabeth's side, or will one or both of them betray her?  

And remember how I said that Blankman's stories make me want to go learn about the history in them?  I also want to go read John Milton's works now, to know something more about them.  Another great historical fiction, by an author that I believe is one of the best, if not the best, in the historical fiction genre.  I cannot wait till I have budget money to purchase this and put in my school library for my students to read.  Thanks to Balzer and Bray and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this. 

Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

  • 3 Finished Copies of TRAITOR ANGELS (US Only)  
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
4/25: Love At First Page - Guest Post
4/26: Paperback Princess - Review
4/27: Live Love Read - Playlist
4/28: Supernatural Snark - Review
4/29: No BS Book Reviews - Q&A

Week 2:
5/2: The Irish Banana Review - Top 10
5/3: Lisa Loves Lit - Review - *You are here*
5/4: Alexa Loves Books - Q&A
5/5: The Petite Book Blogger - Review
5/6: A Book & A Latte - How I Write