G. Bianco, 2019
If you’re looking for a binge-worthy historical fiction book then look no further! Jeannie Mobley’s The Jewel Thief is a lush, slow-burn romance set in 17th century France, and centered around the broken history of the Hope Diamond. Set to be released on May 26th, the romance and excitement all set in France’s high society makes this the book you need to read right now!
In the depths of the Bastille, sixteen-year-old Juliet Pitau sits cold and filthy in her cell. Charged with stealing what has come to be known as the Hope Diamond from King Louis XIV, she has one final chance to convince the King that her motives were pure. If she fails, this night may be her last. Recording her confession is Rene, a scribe for the king and the man she loves. But Rene won't even look her way, let alone begin to forgive her for her betrayal of him. Before Juliet was imprisoned, she was the daughter of the finest gem cutter in all of Paris. The young King Louis XIV hand-selected Jean Pitau to be his crown jeweler, the only man who could make him shine like the sun. When Louis purchases the Tavernier Violet, a large, deep-blue diamond the likes of which the French court has never seen, Jean is tasked with turning it brilliant. But Juliet's father has never cut a diamond quite like this--and shaping it is risky business. While Jean spirals into depression, Juliet takes it upon herself to have the diamond cut for the King. But with every misstep, she brings her family closer to ruin, and closer to probable death at morning's light once Louis casts his sentence.
This book hooks you in from the beginning and doesn’t let you go until the very end. The narration of the story (Juliette recounting the last two years to Rene) keeps the plot engaging and exciting. The world of gem cutting was fascinating to read about. Although most of the characters in the story were fictional, the way Mobley interweaves history and fiction together makes for a wonderful story. The historical aspects of this novel (the way Jews were treated in France, the politics of French courts, the way jewelers worked, etc.) was super interesting to read about and piqued my interest in a time period I really had no prior knowledge about.
Aside from the plot, the character’s were fantastically flawed and each and every one of them wonderfully developed. Juliette’s ambition is both inspiring and frustrating to read about, which makes her, as a narrator, so much fun to read about. The way she is willing to risk everything to help her father succeed again and the later risk her own life to protect the ones she loves is heartbreaking and beautiful to see. Her struggles and her determination help propel the story and Mobley develops her into a fantastic protagonist.
Overall, this book will make you smile, make you cry, and make you want to binge the entire novel in one sitting. Fans of historical fiction and YA literature will love this story and it’s the perfect addition to your summer reading list!
*I received an ARC from PenguinTeen in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!