I loved the historical aspect to the story. The intrigue was great. I felt, though, the characters were a bit underdeveloped and flat. Like they were written and put into designated boxes..."this is the arrogant, callous lady's man", "this one is the underdog with a chip on his shoulder who has tendencies to be careless, impulsive and a bit of a blockhead", etc and the characters never strayed from the confines of their "boxes". In reality, people often put on "masks" to hide aspects of themselves they don't want others to see and make themselves vulnerable, but not matter how carefully constructed the "mask", the qualities the person would like to hide have a way of peeking through eventually. I did not see that with these characters, and for me, because the were so one-dimensional, it made it a bit harder to believe. I did not like how they were consistently assuming what the other was thinking, what was motivating the others, why they did what they did and jumping to conclusions. I find that irritating in real life, and just as irritating in a book. Had these things been rectified, I would have given it a higher rating. The books rates as high as it does by me simply because I loved the historical aspect of it.
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