Over the last year or so, I’ve been on a split-time novel reading kick, so when I saw The Master Craftsman come up, I knew I wanted to read it. I haven’t read many books set in Russia, and as a history nut, if a book contains history AND a setting I’m unfamiliar with, my interest levels go up exponentially. I couldn’t wait to get into this story, and thankfully, it ended up near the beginning of my TBR queue.
And isn’t this cover beautiful?!
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About the book:
In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history—an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar’s family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family.
Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance—and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.
This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.
There was a lot to love about this story. There was also quite a bit that annoyed me.
First, the best part: The history! That section shone in my eyes! Prior to reading this book, I’m not sure I had ever heard the name Fabergé before—or if I had, it didn’t make enough of an impression to stick. Here, I got to know Karl Fabergé as a person, and though his life story was sad, the way he went about his own creative work and inspired the creativity of those around him was beautiful to see. I found myself marveling over and over as Kelli Stuart described some of his creations in detail—God has certainly implanted in us a desire to see, create, and share beauty!
The present-day portion was somewhat of a disappointment to me, though. I loved the way the events brought a splintered family back together again, but several of the characters had crushes on other characters, and the way they interacted at times annoyed me. I also felt like the ending was rather dramatic, even though it was a satisfying ending. Both are personal preference issues. 🙂 Also, this wasn’t a Christian story, as I was hoping it would be with the book coming from Revell.
Warnings: A few scenes of the Russian Revolution, an affair, and several people are killed.
I’m glad I read The Master Craftsman—I feel like I learned a lot from it—but it wasn’t my favorite read of the year. The story as a whole didn’t feel as put-together as I was hoping, so while I enjoyed learning about the history, I found the reading experience a bit of a disappointment.
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5. Many thanks to Revell for giving me the chance to read this book!
What was the last book you read that included the Russian Revolution? Have you heard of Fabergé before?