Richard’s life is . . . disappointing.
His career is one word away from extinction, his love-life nonexistent, his hopes for improvement, nil.
But his imagination? Now that’s a place to be.
For years he has studied and imagined the life of his hero, the much-debated Napoleon Bonaparte, former Emperor of France.
Oh to live in the time of Napoleon! To see the victories. To smell the gunpowder. To be present at Waterloo to warn him of looming disaster! So, when a run-in with an eccentric bookstore owner provides him with that opportunity, Richard takes it readily. He quits his job, his life really, in order to pursue this dream, and soon, he’s present on the famous battlefield of Waterloo, right in the middle of the action!
A little too close to the action really, as he’s quickly escorted off the field by a concerned soldier. But this is just the beginning of an adventure! More is to come, good, bad, and ugly as he journeys to meet his idol – and to find a better life.
As someone who enjoys history but had a less than stellar school curriculum, I learned a lot from this story. Other than the names Waterloo and Napoleon, I know very little about that time period. Williams, though, had it all figured out. Through vivid descriptions, Williams has created an immersive journey through the time of muskets and diplomacy, of success on the battlefield as well as failure. And, as it concerns the story itself, Williams does not always go the way one would think. There were several points when I expected the author to zig only for him to zag instead.
In other words, it was quite a bit of fun, and I enjoyed reading it. As a mom intending to homeschool, I kept thinking about the concept of ‘living books’ as described by Charlotte Mason. While I would not recommend it for a child (there are a few scenes), I could see a historically inclined teenager adding this novel to their curriculum. This is not how this book is being marketed, but it’s a potential angle that I saw. If you're looking for a deep dive into a time period, this book is for you!
*I received this book copy free in exchange for a review.
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I am accepting submissions for reviews at this time. I am primarily interested in thrillers, suspense, magical realism, dystopians, and light sci-fi. I have a taste for the grim and love novels that make you think. Leave me haunted but hopeful.