Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review: The Ruins of Lace, by Iris Anthony

Sourcebooks Publishers 
RELEASE DATE:  October 16th, 2012

Who would have known that in the 17th c. a sheer piece of lace-delicate and intricately woven was preciously coveted, priceless and forbidden by law and the French king himself?  The Ruins of Lace is a novel based on all the sacrifice, crimes, smuggling, corruption and the unimaginably wild extent that people went to obtain even the smallest piece of this craft.

Written in the points of view of seven people whose lives enmeshed each others’ all in the pursuit of their quest for lace:  Alexandre would need to embezzle it to save Lisette-who as a child innocently ruined a precious lace cuff from her now horrid kidnapper, the Count of Montreau.  The despicable Count of Montreau, demands the lace as ransom as he also needs to ensure his inheritance.  Katharina has been a lacemaker in a convent for over twenty five years.  Blind and hunched she knows no other life but the lace that dances through her fingers.  Being blind and of little use, she now risks being thrown to the streets into prostitution.  Her sister, Heilwich needs money to get Katharine out of the convent before she meets her dreadful fate.  Lace is what Heilwich needs to help smuggle out in order to earn that money. Denis Boulanger was once a baker, then patrol officer and now the king's soldier- his role is to stop the smugglers.  And there is also Moncher, the hound used for the trafficking of the lace.  All will somehow pass though a certain De Grote’s guile…

Admittedly, it was a bit confusing at the beginning to read in all these different points of view- but the story was much too captivating to put down.  Iris Anthony, did a fantastic job at fine-tuning the story in making the numerous characters have lives and paths that begged me to read on.  I was particularly captivated by Katharine’s life and what it was like for this woman who knew nothing else about the world, but lace. How could she continue living this way- and she was blind?!  

Intricate as lace itself, this story unwinds through a series of events that lead to every character’s personal mission and quest to resolving an almost insurmountable feat.  Mystery, murder, sacrifices and honor, The Ruins of Lace has opened up a whole new world of questions regarding this subject in itself.  17th c. Lace:  forbidden, unattainable, priceless, beautiful and historical.   

Very enjoyable!


Dazzling Mage said...

I can see why it could be confusing to read the different POVs. I'm kind of confused as you listed them, but intrigued too, because who would have thought this was the cost of lace?

Great review!

Unknown said...

I agree at the beginning it was a little difficult to nail down all of the characters - however they really did envelope pretty much all of the aspects of lace at that time period. Great review - very enjoyable book.

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