Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Set against the historical reign of the Golden and Iron King, Bohemian Gospel is the remarkable tale of a bold and unusual girl on a quest to uncover her past and define her destiny.
Thirteenth-century Bohemia is a dangerous place for a girl, especially one as odd as Mouse, born with unnatural senses and an uncanny intellect. Some call her a witch. Others call her an angel. Even Mouse doesn’t know who―or what―she is. But she means to find out.
When young King Ottakar shows up at the Abbey wounded by a traitor's arrow, Mouse breaks church law to save him and then agrees to accompany him back to Prague as his personal healer. Caught in the undertow of court politics at the castle, Ottakar and Mouse find themselves drawn to each other as they work to uncover the threat against him and to unravel the mystery of her past. But when Mouse's unusual gifts give rise to a violence and strength that surprise everyone ―especially herself― she is forced to ask herself: Will she be prepared for the future that awaits her?
A heart-thumping, highly original tale in the vein of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, Bohemian Gospel heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice for historical fiction.

Review by Mirella Patzer
Also visit History and Women

The stunning cover of Bohemian Gospel shelters a wonderfully unique tale about a poor young girl of unknown birth circumstances named Mouse who saves King Ottakar's life and swiftly becomes his most trusted personal healer. But Mouse is no ordinary girl. She possesses numerous gifts - the gift of foresight, the gift of healing, the gift of unusual hearing and sight, name a few. She is reluctantly swept into court life with its many political machinations and intrigues. King Ottaker becomes her protector and a forbidden love burgeons between them.  

The first section of the novel was fast paced and gripping. As the story progressed, the pace did slow a little, but it did still managed to hold my interest. In many ways, Mouse was a sympathetic character, but she had too many "gifts" to make her completely credible. For me, this diminished the historical feel and gave the story a more fantasy/magical atmosphere. 

For those who are historical fiction purists, this novel many not completely please. However, for those readers who love historical fantasy, then this is definitely a blockbuster! Well written, wonderfully creative, and with plenty of twists and turns, this is one novel that should be on your to be read list.

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.