The first ever review from the Enchanted Emporium’s bookshelf is for the gorgeous The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield, a magical novel based in the time running up to the French Revolution. It doesn’t linger long on the bookshelf before it is borrowed by a passing witch.
Scroll down to discover why.
Book Review: The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield
Title: The Embroidered Book
Author: Kate Heartfield
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Fantasy, historical
Release Date: 17th February 2022
‘Power is not something you are given. Power is something you take. When you are a woman, it is a little more difficult, that’s all’
1768. Charlotte, daughter of the Habsburg Empress, arrives in Naples to marry a man she has never met. Her sister Antoine is sent to France, and in the mirrored corridors of Versailles they rename her Marie Antoinette.
The sisters are alone, but they are not powerless.
When they were only children, they discovered a book of spells – spells that work, with dark and unpredictable consequences. In a time of vicious court politics, of discovery and dizzying change, they use the book to take control of their lives. But every spell requires a sacrifice.
And as love between the sisters turns to rivalry, they will send Europe spiralling into revolution.
Thoughts from the Emporium
Harper Voyager excel at designing book covers that catch your eye and lure you in as if they are enchanted like many of the articles in this book. The cover made Willow desire this book even before she read the blurb.
After studying history at uni, she adores novels that blend magic with historical fact devoured this mighty tome in days. When Amber read it, she was concerned she’d be confused as her knowledge of Marie Antoinette was minimal but these were unfounded. As promised by Willow, she was immersed into lives of Charlotte and Antoinette after they discover an embroidered book of magic. The spectacular blend of magic, history and sense of place kept both witches enthralled.
It is an epic read of 656 pages where the two sisters have to journey through the complex politics of these turbulent times while balancing family and societal expectations when their central reason is to do anything is to do the best for their respective countries. It’s told with empathy and made me consider questions about power, class and influence.
The palaces and characters were brought to life, making reading it a highly visual experience. Both witches and many customers who’ve also read it agree, it would make a wonderful tv series under the right director.
Why is it on the Enchanted Emporium Bookshelf?
The Embroidered Book is as beautiful inside as out and though it’s a work of fiction it gives many of the store’s readers a platform to build their knowledge of this era on while they are immersed in magic and spells. Full of imagination, the spectacular magical world building overlays historical fact making it a must for fans of both history and fantasy.
The bookshelf has witnessed the downfall of many who have taken a book of spells to the detriment of themselves and those around them. It hopes those witches who read The Embroidered Book will heed its warning.
Kate Heartfield is the author of The Embroidered Book, a historical fantasy novel out in February 2022. Her debut novel won Canada’s Aurora Award, and her novellas, stories and games have been shortlisted for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Sunburst and Aurora awards. A former journalist, Kate lives near Ottawa, Canada.