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Reviewed by Patricia Bell for Readers' Favorite
With her mother lost at sea, and her father’s sudden death when she was only ten, Eleanora and her older brother, Ben, became prisoners of their evil step-mother, Cecilia, as well as the object of contempt to her step-brother and sister. Eleanora had a dream of opening a book store, but that dream would never be realized as long as she was in the clutches of her step-mother. But then a woman shows up. One that Eleanora has never met. Things change for Eleanora and her brother, but she’s not sure if this is good or bad. She finds out that life is not exactly what she thought it was, and learns of the secret of The Order of the Crystal Daggers. And when a string of murders begins, she is tasked with helping to solve those deaths, which brings to light more truths that have been hidden from her. Confused and not sure who to trust, Eleanora searches for answers to solve a great murder mystery.
C.S. Johnson has done it again! She has managed to captivate me with her new book Kingdom of Ash and Soot: Book 1 of The Order of the Crystal Daggers. This story is a complex combination of romance and historical fiction with a touch of mystery and intrigue. The story is set in the 1800s, in Prague, and is very real to life. The characters are believable and realistic. Not all are likable, but such is life. I enjoyed how the story unraveled for Eleanora and that the truth was not revealed until the very end. This story is meant for Young Adults, but I find that it would be a great book for older readers who enjoy a good mystery as well. The detail was captivating and the mystery fascinating. If you are looking for a great historical mystery, this is the book for you. And it’s the first in a series, so I look forward to more books to come.