Review Detail

4.3 1
Historical Thrill Ride
Overall rating
Writing Style
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is even better than the first. This duology should be on the top of everyone’s TBR pile! Anne Blankman’s extensive researched provides a page- turner that is clever and pulls the heartstrings.

Fans of historical fiction won’t be able to stop reading Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke. Like Prisoner of Night and Fog, it continues to explore one of the darkest times in Germany’s history. The story begins a little while after the ending of Prisoner. Gretchen and her Uncle Dolf are not enemies and Daniel is wanted for a murder he did not commit.

What I liked best is Blankman’s masterful character development. Both Gretchen and Daniel are relatable and intriguing. So much so, that as a reader I forget that they are fictional characters. They leave such a lasting impression that you never want to let them go. Gretchen’s voice in the story has matured since Prisoner of Night and Fog. She is more aware and more vulnerable at the same time. She has abandoned Hitler’s rhetoric and is no longer a puppet of his words. She now sees people for they are inside, not the stereotypes or propaganda. Although historically speaking the fate of Hitler in his rise to power is well known, I found myself hoping the characters would change the course of history. I found myself putting down the book so that I could stay in the characters lives just a little bit longer.

The world building is well crafted. Some of the descriptions are beautifully poetic and wonderful to read. Ultimately it’s the mystery surrounding the historic fire and murder that creates a great tension in the book that makes it impossible to put down.

Important note: The author’s notes are a must read. It helps tie together the fiction and the nonfiction elements of the book.

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke weaves together real historical events with an intriguing mystery creating a hauntingly beautiful, romantic thrill ride. Fans of Prisoner of Night and Fog will not be disappointed. Put it on your to read list!
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