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Review by Suze
Napoleon has won the battle of Waterloo and the Duke of Wellington has been captured. Josephine has the power in England, that is now occupied by the French. Hester, a young dark skinned heiress has escaped the French, who want to sell her as a slave, and is now at the mercy of Crow, Wellington's former intelligence officer. Crow's brother Kitto is in trouble because of his love for explosives and it's up to Crow to get him out of it again. Will he succeed and keep them all safe?
In a country that's being ruled by the French Crow and Hester need to fight for their freedom. The Duke of Wellington has to be liberated from his captors, but where is he? There are traitors everywhere and some are nearer than expected. Will Hester and Crow manage to keep themselves alive and will they be able to play their part in freeing England from the French while their personal connection keeps getting stronger?
False Lights is a great what-if story. I loved the idea behind it very much. Napoleon is victorious and the English have a huge problem. There are only a few people who can reverse the situation, but not all of them are loyal to the people they're supposed to be loyal to, which is something that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved the main characters of False Lights, especially Hester. She's fierce, stubborn, resourceful, resilient and incredibly smart. It's a difficult time for her to live in. She isn't an accepted member of society because of the color of her skin, but instead of being defeated she fights it and is superior to everyone who's cruel to her, which is something I absolutely loved.
K.J. Whittaker's writing is crude, raw and honest. It's fabulously fitting for the time frame. Rudeness, filth, cruelty and hate are part of daily life and K.J. Whittaker describes them in a vivid, believable way. Sometimes it's a bit sickening and shocking. However, that's exactly how it should be, which is something I really liked. The overall effect is a fascinating story with plenty of unexpected events, gripping scenes, treachery, bloody battles and political intrigues. The strong, admirable women in this novel play their part without complaint and are terribly impressive. I enjoyed reading about every single one of their adventures. False Lights is a fantastic compelling story.
If you like historical what-if fiction False Lights would be a perfect choice.