This was a two star read for me and I think a lot of that rating is due to this book not being what I expected and the low wordcount making the story feel rushed. If you saw the blurb and expected a realistic take on a member of the Culper Ring, know this is not that kind of book, although the American Revolutionary setting was fun. This is a historical adventure about a secretive enclave founded by a man who knows an important secret from the Templar Knights that allows him to remain forever young. So while this is about spies, Sarah felt more like a James Bond kind of spy rather than a realistic woman spying for America.
Sarah is part of the enclave and this book explores how she got her start spying during the American Revolution and her current life in the present as she connects with a young girl who reminds her of herself. If you are someone who loves stories about the Templars and spies, this might be more up your alley. This is the second in a series and while the prologue gave enough information to understand the background of the Templars, I recommend starting with the first book in the series The Templar Lance.
This is a short book just past the novella range at 60,000 words. For me that made the story feel too fast paced. It also lacked emotional exploration on heavy topics like abuse and murder that made the events feel downplayed and the characters underdeveloped. This story switches between the past and the present but the story of the past versus the story happening in the present felt like completely different stories at times. I think the book would have been better served by telling one or the other instead of both.
The story felt more character driven than plot driven at times, but due to the lack of character development I just wasn’t enthralled with the characters enough to stay hooked. Overall the fast pacing and low wordcount just simply didn’t give the story and characters enough time to properly develop.
I'm a publishing pro who loves to support all sides of the publishing industry. As a reader I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Visit my website for my editing services and publishing advice and my instagram for book pictures. Kate Valent is my pen name.