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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family. Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined. This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous w…

The Master Craftsman

by Kelli Stuart

Overall Book Review:

The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart is a mix between historical fiction and modern romance.  The story jumped back and forth between the modern era and the early twentieth century.  The author has clearly spent a great deal of time researching her topic.  The historical fiction bits often lagged as those sections read more like a research paper than a fiction account.  It feels as though the author tried to pack too much detail into the historic parts and the mind starts to wander away from the plot. If one can overlook that, the story itself is an intriguing idea and also informative.

The modern character of Ava Laine didn’t connect for me.  She did not really endear herself in any way.  She was exceptionally immature and in a book published by a Christian publisher, one would have expected her to either develop or find something to do with God in her life. The most endearing thing about her was that she has a genuinely nice next-door neighbor.  No one really explains why he is interested in her, as she always treats him poorly.  Although Ava’s story has emotional moments, it is overshadowed by her less than intriguing character.  The author attempts to explain some of this, but something just doesn’t feel quite genuine.

The other part of the story that is hard to process is the whole concept of engaging in international thievery.  The people in the story were supposed to be professionals, but they were walking in the middle of a busy street talking about their investigation and such.  If someone was really following or spying on them, this would be an easy target.  There were several instances in which this sort of thing happened.

Even with all of those detractions, it is interesting to learn more about the Fabergé eggs and how they came to be.  The history of the eggs is interesting as a non-fiction piece.  If one can overlook some of the obvious flaws and just enjoy the journey, the book has some good information.  This author gets an outstanding mark for her thorough research.

Review of an Advanced Reader Copy Provided by the Publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  Definition of a harsh, derogatory term.

Violence/Gore:  Report of a child killed in a war; a recounting of the murder of the Russian Tsar and his family; a character hears of the murdering of many people during a peaceful protest; characters shoot one another with guns, blood and fatalities are part of the description.

Sex/Nudity: Report of a married man having a mistress; characters indicate they made love.

Mature Subjects:

terminal illness, political unrest

Drug/Alcohol Use:

Characters talk about and consume vodka.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
1
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
5
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
3
10

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About the Reviewer

I primarily read fiction from all genres. I have six children and many happy hours have been spent reading together. I also love quilting, hiking, and camping.