Sentence: Paul Gibson lurched down the dark, narrow lane,
his face raw from the cold, his fingers numb.
A murdered French physician and a woman with no memory send
Sebastian St. Cyr into the world of the ex-patriated French
royal family and the mystery of the “Lost Dauphin”:
the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who is presumed
dead. Or is he?
The story begins with descriptions, not of elegant and refined
London, but of dark, dangerous alleys and death. With each
chapter, the story becomes more intriguing and compelling.
The dialogue conveys the style of the period.
St. Cyr and his new wife Hero are very likable characters.
Hero is pregnant and the arcane ideas of preparing a woman
for delivery are terrifying. It’s nice to see that St.
Cyr has moved on from his past and grown. Harris is very good
at describing emotion, particularly the animosity between
St. Cyr and his father-in-law, St. James. Nicely, all of the
characters are very well drawn; none are short-changed. Each
is brought to life in our mind’s eye.
There are a number of historic figures included in the story
in ways, if not wholly accurate, are appropriate to the story.
There is history we learn which is not that of which we learned
in school and is terrible. At the same time, it is critical
to the story. However, the historical information related
to the peace negotiations between the English and Napoleon’s
delegation, which conflicts with the English crown wanting
the Burbons restored to the throne, is fascinating. The statement
“We like to think we’re more civilized, more honorable,
more righteous than our enemies, but we’re not….And
once you realize that, it does rather beg the question: Why
am I fighting? Why am I killing?” is true of any country,
in any age, that engages in war.
The story is very well plotted, mixing history and fiction
seamlessly. The numerous sub-themes--PTSH, phantom pain, privilege,
childbirth and others--add depth to the story and plot twist
Why Kings Confess is one of the best books in the
St. Cyr series so far.
of other titles in the series
Angels Fear # 1
Gods Die # 2
Serpents Sleep # 4
Shadows Dance # 6
When Maidens Mourn #7 [review
Darkness Brings #8
Why Kings Confess # 9 [review
Buries the Dead
Slays the Wicked #14