Tuesday 30 March 2021

Review: Madame Monvoisin's Emporium of Extraordinary Adventures, by Michael Wombat

Madame Monvoisin's Emporium of Extraordinary Adventures: Volume 1: Rue du Pont MarieMadame Monvoisin's Emporium of Extraordinary Adventures: Volume 1: Rue du Pont Marie by Michael Wombat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a superb book!

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I love all the author's books, but knew this one was a little different. It IS a collection of very short, often flash fiction, stories, but another story has been written around them to encompass them, which is why the author calls it a 'framed anthology'.

The story and characters in the wrap-around story live in the late 1600s, and the author has endeavoured to provide accurate historical facts and settings. The characters themselves step right off the page and are immediately engaging. And the supernatural way in which the collection of short stories are brought into the main framing story is intriguing and captivating. It is possible to read the story without reading the short tales between, but in many cases they apply to the development of the character experiencing them, in this case Etienne Blessis.

The characters, both Etienne and Catherine Monvoisin, are people I began to care about and wanted to know better, especially how Madame Monvoisin is able to provide the adventures she sends Etienne and her other clients on. And we do get a glimpse of this, which reminded me a little of The Magician's Nephew (the first of the Lion Witch & the Wardrobe series) - in that book they were pools, but in this one they are trees. But to say more would spoil the journey.

The book ends on an excruciating cliff hanger, so I am SO pleased to hear the second volume is ready for release. I can't wait to find out what happens and to spend more time with these wonderful characters.

Get yourself a copy of this book - you won't regret it. There's something for everyone in it.

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