Tuesday, December 17, 2019

YA Book Review: Harbor for the Nightingale by Kathleen Baldwin

Harbor for the Nightingale
Author: Kathleen Baldwin
Publication: Ink Lion Books (September 26, 2019)

Description: A girl’s spy school amid Jane Austen’s high society . . .

London, 1814. Emperor Napoleon has forced Europe to its knees, and now he plots to seize control of Britain. Miss Maya Barrington, one of Miss Stranje’s unusual girls, must act as a double agent and rely upon her uncanny gift of persuasion to stop Napoleon.

She brought the mystery of India with her . . .

Maya is from two different worlds. Her Indian mother died and her father, an English lord, took her away from the warmth of India to cold inhospitable London. She was not welcomed. Especially by her prejudiced stepmother, who sent Maya away to Stranje House, a reform school known for its harsh discipline.

The school’s dark reputation hides the fact that the headmistress, Miss Stranje, is actually training these unusual young ladies to enter the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.  Stranje House turns out to be the perfect hiding place for Maya—she finally carves out a sense of belonging among these brilliant outcast girls.

But her world turns upside down when Miss Stranje and the girls are drawn into Napoleon’s devious conspiracy.

To protect the friends she now holds dear, and to keep Napoleon and his ruthless spies from destroying the world she has grown to love, Maya agrees to play a duplicitous role. She must enter this treacherous game on the arm of the elusive Lord Kinsworth. Maya can read almost everyone—not so with this young rascal. Quick with a jest and armed with lethal charm, Lord Kinsworth remains just beyond her reach. Can she trust him?

With Britain’s future at risk and those she loves in deadly peril, Maya questions everything she thought she understood about life, love, and loyalty.

My Thoughts: This is Maya's story. Maya Barrington is the daughter of an English lord and and Indian mother. When her mother died, she was sent to live with her grandmother in rural India until her father decided to take her back to England with him. Maya's new stepmother took a firm dislike to her so her father sent her to Miss Stranje's school for unusual girls. Though Maya feels abandoned by her father, Stranje House and the other girls who live there is a perfect home for her.

Maya's gift is to use her voice to persuade. She also has a wonderful singing voice. Her gift comes in handy when the Prince Regent decides that this would be a perfect time to try to negotiate a peace treaty with Napoleon. None of his wiser advisers can talk him out of this and, so, Miss Stranje and the others who are concerned with England's future do come up with a plan.

Maya isn't happy that the plan includes a fake engagement with Lord Kinsworth who has been her duet partner and who manages to make her feel uneasy. Maya has a gift for hearing everyone's personal song and understanding them through what she hears. Unfortunately, Lord Kinsworth song only manages to confuse her. When she overhears him telling someone that he doesn't want to marry because it would steal his freedom, Maya fears her attraction to him because she doesn't want to be with someone who is likely to abandon her as her father did.

The story has a wonderful Regency setting, intrepid young women, and an action-filled plot. Fans of historical fiction and alternate history will enjoy this series. This book is the fourth but stands alone quite well.

Favorite Quote:
Prince George's Brighton Pavilion, with its onion-domed roof and minarets, looks more like a Hindu temple than a palace. Except, according to these drawings, the inside is decorated from top to bottom in the fantastical style of a Chinese pagoda, with enormous vases, Chinese statues, brightly painted wallpapers, and turned up cornices everywhere.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!