Friday, June 15, 2012


The Flower Reader 
ISBN: 0451235819 (ISBN13: 9780451235817)
Edition language: English

Five Stars


Rinette Leslie of Granmuir has the ancient gift of divining the future in flowers, but her gift cannot prepare her for the turmoil that comes when the dying queen regent entrusts her with a casket full of Scotland's darkest secrets. On the very day she means to deliver it to newly crowned Mary, Queen of Scots, Rinette's husband is brutally assassinated.

Devastated, Rinette demands justice before she will surrender the casket, but she is surrounded by ruthless men who will do anything to possess it. In the end, the flowers are all she can trust-and only the flowers will lead her safely home to Granmuir.

From the author of The Second Duchess comes a rich tale of heartbreak and triumph, dangerous political intrigue, and all set in the glitter of the royal court of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The Flower Reader is absolutely a riveting story that will grab you and not let you go. This story is, at heart, a political thriller set in the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, and begins the day of her mother, Mary Guise, Queen Regent of Scotland, death.

The story is centered on the silver casket, which is given to Rinette Leslie to deliver to Mary Queen of Scots upon her arrival at Leith, Scotland. The casket has letters from Mary of Guise to her daughter but also ledgers of secrets on the lords of the land and quatrains (prophesies) by Nostradamus as to the throne of Scotland, France, and England and guide Queen Mary in her choices. (This is actually not far fetched as many notables and rulers of the day did consult with him as well as receive horoscopes from him).

Secret agents and professional assassins are dispatched to take the casket. The court of young (she is a teenager) Mary becomes a very dark and dangerous place and Rinette, a lady in waiting and the heroine, is the target because only she knows the whereabouts of the casket.

Elizabeth Loupas puts us in the court of the young queen and Rinette tells the events as she bravely fights to keep her family and manor safe and in her control. She bargains with Queen Mary—the casket for justice in the assassination of her husband. That is her focus throughout the story. Revenge for her murdered her husband.

The Flower reader is, by turns sweet and loving, harsh and dark, filled with danger and sometimes brutality. Through it all Rinette’s focus is on finding the safe path. Her bravery shines through the harshness and betrayal she has to face. She is someone this reader cheered for as both Rinette and I tried to discover who was behind it all. I cheered for her happy ending and all the more so because she deserved it, by god.

For me, this was an engrossing tale from start to finish; rich in historical detail but never let up in tension or excitement of the story.

Just excellent.


Liza said...

Thanks for the review. This sounds really like an engrossing read. The subject matter really draws me in.

DonnaGalanti said...

This sounds like an intriguing and delicious tale...and not what I normally read so I may try! Thanks Sia.

Kat Sheridan said...

I love, love LOVE Elizabeth's writing. It's so rich and lush, like a chocolate word feast! I adored her first book, "The Second Duchess", and can hardly wait to get my hands on this one!

Other Lisa said...

I loved this book! I won't say what one of my favorite things about it is, though, cause it is sort of a spoiler. :D

Elizabeth Loupas said...

Sia, thank you so much for such a lovely and perceptive review. You always write the best reviews, and I don't mean necessarily all positive, but always with depth and thought.

One of the things about the sixteenth century that fascinates me endlessly is the juxtaposition of incredible luxury and beauty on the one hand, and unthinkable harshness and brutality on the other. You put your finger straight on that point, which is at the heart of the story.

Thanks again, and thanks to your commenters as well! :)