Title: The Pale Assassin
Author: Patricia Elliott
Classification: Fiction with historical setting
Themes: adventure, mystery, history
What’s it about?
Eugenie de Boncoeur is living the life of luxury in Paris, France. She loves her life of parties, pretty dresses and servants. At one such party she meets a charming young man and life seems very sweet indeed…until the beginning of the French Revolution begins. Suddenly, Eugenie finds her life turned upside down as her brother, Armand, is arrested and she is on the run to try and survive as an assassin looks to hunt her down.
This was the first time I had read a novel based around the French Revolution; you get enough details to get the gist of what was going on without it taking away from the plot. There are several characters that are very likeable and you do get invested in them and want to know what will happen next.
I admit that at time I found Eugenie to be very annoying and whingey! If you are looking for a novel with a strong female protagonist – this isn’t it. Her character does develop through the story but I believe many boys (and girls) would struggle to sympathise much with
I do like the story but this isn’t one I’d recommend for classroom use unless you have an all-girl class who want a bit of romance and mystery (along with a bit of history). It is an enjoyable read…as long as you can put up with Eugenie at the beginning without tearing the book in two.