Balzer + Bray
Available May 3rd
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.
Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.
Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?
When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.
Traitor Angels is a fast-paced, enthralling read, sending us on a merry chase alongside heroine Elizabeth as we follow the clues–key pieces of information that could topple monarchies and religions alike–her brilliant father left tucked in the pages of Paradise Lost.
Elizabeth is a young woman ahead of her time thanks to her father largely raising her as a boy, teaching her foreign languages and sword-fighting in addition to reading and writing, and cherry-picking her as one of a pair of individuals tasked with protecting a secret uncovered decades ago. She's incredibly intelligent and fiercely loyal to her father, but she thankfully doesn't have blinders on when it comes to him, and as events unfold, allows her opinion on various things to change instead of clinging stubbornly to all she thought was true. She does on occasion get defeated when she and Antonio hit a roadblock in the Paradise Lost treasure hunt, despairing of her failure to save her father, but she only wallows for brief moments before she snaps herself out of it and restores her resolve.
Her romance with Antonio, while secondary to the epic search for a world-altering secret, is prominent enough to give us butterflies in between action sequences, bringing a smile to our faces before we're plunged once again into danger. The two of them together are a formidable couple, playing off each other's strengths to uncover the complex series of clues left by Mr. Milton, and we can do nothing but flip the pages with unprecedented speed to see what awaits them in the next chapter.
Overall, Traitor Angels will delight lovers of adventure, history and romance, guaranteeing its spot on many a shelf of favorites.
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Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.
After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.
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