Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Night of A Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn
New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn returns with a Jazz Age tale of grand adventure
On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat's wife, Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown. Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip, she spirits away to her estranged father's quiet country village, pursued by the family she left in uproar. But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances, Poppy discovers there is more to her hero than it seems.
With only her feisty lady's maid for company, Poppy secures employment and travels incognita—east across the seas, chasing a hunch and the whisper of clues. Danger abounds beneath the canopies of the silken city, and Poppy finds herself in the perilous sights of those who will stop at nothing to recover a fabled ancient treasure. Torn between allegiance to her kindly employer and a dashing, shadowy figure, Poppy will risk it all as she attempts to unravel a much larger plan—one that stretches to the very heart of the British government, and one that could endanger everything, and everyone, that she holds dear.
If you read City of Jasmine you will be familiar with the setting and some of the characters in Night of A Thousand Stars. This story features Poppy March and Sebastian Fox and the setting is once again in Damascus and the surrounding area. There is so much detail in the description of the area it is like going on a tour of the city in the 1920’s. The book starts with Poppy running away just before the start of her wedding. It starts like a comedy continues with comic touches as it becomes filled with tension and danger.
Poppy has never fit in and is trying to find her way in life. After only one meeting with Sebastian Julia feels something for him. He disappears after helping her escape from the church and getting her to her Father’s. When she thinks he is in trouble she decides to travel to half way around the world to help him. The big reveal here is that Poppy is a March and kin to Lady Julia Grey making this a bridge between the two series.
Look for a few characters from City of Jasmine. Even Gabriel Starke makes a brief appearance. I found the first and last third of the book to move very quickly but the middle third to drag a little. This was Poppy’s story and there is a lot of dialog that is there to show how she reacts and how she changes. Sebastian is there to help but plays a lesser but very strong role. One of the fun elements in the story was how Poppy kept under-estimating Sebastian.
There were several interesting new side characters. Most appeared and disappeared only to appear again. Many were not what they seemed. There were enough clues that I did suspect the role some of the side characters would play before the book was over.
The scene is set for additional books set in this time period. I hope we get to see more of Poppy and Sebastian. They should have enough additional adventures to keep them around. If not Poppy and Sebastian maybe some other characters will have their story.
Two additional features in the back of the book are book club questions and a great interview with the author.
Harlequin Mira published Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn in 2014.