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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A thrilling tale of the elusive Hope Diamond's journey across Europe during the French Revolution, with gorgeous, absorbing writing from Jeannie Mobley! Eighteen-year-old Claudie Durand's future is planned. She'll take over the family inn, watch her much prettier younger sister, Mathilde, married off to the butcher's son, and live out her days alone, without the hope of finding a love of her own. Her mother ran off to the cloister when she was young, and her gruff, abusive father has deemed her unmarriageable, a nuisance, and only good for hard labor. But outside their small village in Brittany, a revolution is brewing. When the Army of the Republic seizes their town, and Claudie finds herself at the center of the conspiracy, she and Mathilde must flee their sheltered life and take up a cause that, up till now, had always seemed like a distant conflict. As the sisters carry out a dangerous mission for the resistance: delivering a precious item to the mysterious Rooster of Rennes-…

The Diamond Keeper

Jeannie Mobley

Overall Book Review:

The Diamond Keeper is book two in The Jewel Thief series by Jeannie Mobley.  But fear not, if you didn’t read the first book, aptly titled The Jewel Thief, you won’t be missing out.  In fact, I previously reviewed the first offering in this series and didn’t realize this was a second in a series.  The cast of characters is completely different and the time setting of the story is flash forward a few hundred years.

At the heart of this story is the relationship between two sisters.  One is a striking beauty, flirtatious with the boys and prone to fits of laziness.  The other sees herself as not much to look at but bears the burden of a heavy workload keeping an inn running, watching out for the reputation of her sister and keeping it all together.  However, what we learn the adventures of these sisters is that things aren’t always what they seem and two sisters with seemingly nothing in common learn to become closer than they ever thought possible.

While romance is sprinkled throughout this book with dashing rebels and stalwart saviors of a kind, this book is equal parts historical romance and adventure novel.  Full of rebels, riots, swordfights and narrow escapes, the action in this book keeps the pages quickly turning.  The skirmishes are time setting appropriate and I appreciated that a good lashing with horses’ reins was given just as much attention as a swipe with a sword.

The language in the book moves the pages along at a fair speed.  There are a few places, and only for a sentence or two, where it seems the author tried a little to hard to use more complex words and the sentences seem wordy.  But the overall pace of the book and language is no more then marginally affected by those few small areas.  I was a little disappointed in that end of the book, the last handful of chapters, seem rather rushed.  It’s almost as if the author got the characters thru their main mission in England and then just quickly wanted to end the novel. 

For lovers of historical fiction, this is a great book to add to your to-be-read list.  Those who crave action and adventure will also not find it wanting.  A good read for upper middle grade readers and adults that may leave you craving another installment of where the diamond goes next.

Review of a Digital Advance Reading copy from the Publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamation; 4 derogatory names.

Violence/Gore:  Looting and rioting in Paris; grab and twist of arm with verbal threat; report of beating; priest is beaten; man is shot; multiple multi-page riot scene with blood, injuries, graphic depiction of violence and death; threats at gun point and death; man is stabbed with bayonet; scene of burnt buildings, animal and human corpses left and rotting after solider raid; bloody, mutilated corpses of family including children depicted; man shakes, slaps and kicks woman; woman stabs man to death; man shoves woman against a wall; woman falls from horse without injury; recall of beatings without detail; woman recalls repeated domestic abuse; report of people being killed without detail;

Sex/Nudity:  Six Kisses to the cheek or hands; four instances of kissing; two instances of being held around waist; report of being pinched or slapped on buttocks; caress of cheek; handholding; reference to men making lewd comments and sexual suggestions; women sit on men’s laps; reference to married couple having sex.

Mature Themes: 

War; stealing; gambling; physical abuse; transgender character; abandonment.

Alcohol and Drug Use: 

Widespread drinking of wine.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.