Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; Paris in Ruins by M.K. Tod. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book – and that is just the cover, which is a historical fiction fan’s dream – with you all.

Firstly, I want to say Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours for the invite to this tour.

About the Book

Paris in Ruins by M.K. Tod

Publication Date: March 30, 2021

Publisher: Heath Street Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction     

Paris 1870. Raised for a life of parties and servants, Camille and Mariele have much in common, but it takes the horrors of war to bring them together to fight for the city and people they love.

A few weeks after the abdication of Napoleon III, the Prussian army lays siege to Paris. Camille Noisette, the daughter of a wealthy family, volunteers to nurse wounded soldiers and agrees to spy on a group of radicals plotting to overthrow the French government.

Her future sister-in-law, Mariele de Crécy, is appalled by the gaps between rich and poor. She volunteers to look after destitute children whose families can barely afford to eat. Somehow, Camille and Mariele must find the courage and strength to endure months of devastating siege, bloody civil war, and great personal risk.

Through it all, an unexpected friendship grows between the two women, as they face the destruction of Paris and discover that in war women have as much to fight for as men.

War has a way of teaching lessons—if only Camille and Mariele can survive long enough to learn them.

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Praise for Paris in Ruins

“The story of two women whose families were caught up in the defense of Paris is deeply moving and suspenseful.” -Margaret George, author of Splendor Before the Dark: A Novel of the Emperor Nero

“Tod is not only a good historian, but also an accomplished writer … a gripping, well-limned picture of a time and a place that provide universal lessons.” -Kirkus Reviews.

“M.K. Tod’s elegant style and uncanny eye for time and place again shine through in her riveting new tale, Paris in Ruins.” –Jeffrey K. Walker author of No Hero’s Welcome

Review

My, oh my!!

Well, what can I say about this book?

I was completely blown away and left gasping in pure delight at the richness, the passion, the endless highs and lows of atmospheric emotion which steals your heart and ruins you for all other historical fiction.

Paris in Ruins is the first book I have read by MK Tod, and it definitely won’t be the last I can’t believe that this talented author has passed me by for so long. How is that? It’s once again I must have been walking around with eyes closed tight – no wonder I walk into things …LOL!! 

Set in Paris in the turbulent year of 1870, Paris in Ruins tells the story of two extraordinary women who must face the unspeakable horrors of their beloved Paris in the depths of war, a war which will not only tear the country apart but which cost so much to so many, Camille and Mariele have to delve deep within them to find that strength to fight. I love the fluid, vivid and engaging writing style, it pulls the reader right into the thick of the action while enthralling us with rich and meticulously researched historical detail which comes alive on the page. 

Set during the Franco-Prussian War, and despite loving the Napoleonic era and having watched far too much Sharpe as a child I didn’t know that much about this particular period of history and I was thrilled to learn more about it as I read. Don’t you just love it when you a book which not only thrills and entertains, but educates and gives you goose-bumps? And this is certainly one of those books!

I liked that the social gap was a prime topic for the overall story, Camille doesn’t see those beneath her station until she begins to nurse the wounded and then when she is enlisted to spy on the radicals, but she is very much an upper-crust young lady who has been rather spoiled – but she soon comes crashing down to earth. Then we have Mariele who like Camille is also from the upper classes but unlike those of her station she doesn’t snub her nose at those below her she is appalled at the injustice of how the poor are treated, that the social line between the poor and the rich seems to be getting wider and wider, she is determined to help those in need.  

Hmmm? Not a lot has changed has it?? Even in the 21st century, we can still say that there is a gap – or as many say it here a North/South divide…Oops, got a little political there, it won’t happen again.

I loved getting to know both Camille and Mariele, they are different in their ways and views but there are similarities between them; both coming from upper-class stock and both in a more privileged position than most women. At first, I have to be honest, I did wonder how two such different women could ever be friends they were like chalk and cheese, but it’s only once the darkness of war clouds Paris that they come together and get to know the other and see that they aren’t as different as they (and me) thought. I did doubt if they ever would be the best of friends, but with so much against them, their families and their very way of life they were stronger together than apart. Both women are bold, determined, loyal, passionate, brave, fearless, caring and kind, they love their city and the people and I found their courage hugely inspiring.

Overall, Paris In Ruins is a beautiful, emotional, riveting, remarkable, memorable, sweeping tale full of dangers, sadness, friendship and love. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to post-Napoleonic France and getting to know the incredible men and women who fought so courageously for what they believed.

About the Author

Paris In Ruins is M.K. Tod’s fourth novel. Mary began writing in 2005 while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her other novels are Time and RegretLies Told in Silence, and Unravelled.

Beyond writing novels, Mary’s award-winning blog, http://www.awriterofhistory.com features the reading and writing of historical fiction. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, you can find her hiking, golfing, traveling, or hanging out with friends and family.

Mary is married and has two adult children and two delightful grandchildren. For more information visit M.K. Tod’s website.

You can also find her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 30 Guest Post at Novels Alive 

Wednesday, March 31 Review at Passages to the Past 

Thursday, April 1 Review at Gwendalyn’s Books 

Friday, April 2 Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit 

Sunday, April 4 Review at Carole’s Ramblings 

Monday, April 5 Review at Madwoman in the Attic 

Tuesday, April 6 Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy 

Wednesday, April 7 Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals 

Thursday, April 8 Feature at Mia Reads 

Friday, April 9 Review at Bibliostatic 

Saturday, April 10 Review at Girl Who Reads 

Monday, April 12 Review at Reader_ceygo 

Tuesday, April 13 Interview at Reader_ceygo 

Wednesday, April 14 Review at 100 Pages a Day / Excerpt at Wishful Endings 

Thursday, April 15 Review at Unabridged Chick / Review at Books, Writings, and More 

Friday, April 16 Interview at Unabridged Chick 

Monday, April 19 Excerpt at Bookworlder 

Tuesday, April 20 Review at A Darn Good Read / Review at The Enchanted Shelf / Review at Library of Clean Reads / Review at With a Book in Our Hand

Giveaway

We have one paperback copy of Paris in Ruins up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 20th.

You must be 18 or older to enter.

Enter here : Paris in Ruins

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