Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis (A Review by Chandni Karania)

1 min read

Rating: 3.5/5

Set within the backdrop of the Congress of Vienna in 1814 following the fall of Napoleon where royals and aristocrats from across Europe gathered to battle over the new map of Europe. The Congress of Secrets is the story of Katherine Vogl the daughter of a radical Viennese printer who was arrested by the secret police of Vienna when she was a child and altered the path of her life as Count Pergen has imprisoned her as a child and used her to experiment the dark art of alchemy on.

As the Congress of Vienna begins Katherine returns to Vienna as Lady Caroline Wyndham in an attempt to save her father. However, she does not expect to run into her father’s apprentice, Michael Steinhuller who has also returned to Vienna under the pretense of Prince Kalishnikoff seeking to be compensated by the Congress for the loss of his kingdom.

Having little knowledge of European history during this period I personally could have done with the historical note included at the end of the book to have been included at the front. Once I got my head around the key players in the story, there are quite a few characters to keep straight in your mind, it look about 100 pages or so for the scene to be set the rest of the book was a page turner, I wanted to know if Caroline and Michael would be caught by the secret police and if they would rescue her father however after all the scene setting I found the ending to be wrapped up too quickly. This is a fairly okay read and if you are into historical fiction with little dark art then this may be a book for you.

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