Publication Date: December 26, 2017
eBook; Kindle Press
Paperback; New Arcadia Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Abandoned at birth, the grandly christened Edward Plantagenet rises from London’s Foundling Hospital to take charge back stage at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, only to be blind-sided when he rescues Grace—a young woman escaping an abusive father.
Grace finds an outlet for her passions as a Shakespearean actress, becoming ensnared by intrigues and setbacks that mar the pathway to stardom she craves.
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Old Price Riots of 1809, Grace and Ned find common purpose in a quest that threatens to tear both their worlds apart.
“Meticulously researched and with an atmosphere so rich that one can almost smell the face powder, The Muse of Fire is another triumph for Carol M. Cram. The irresistible story at its heart is impeccably woven into the tapestry of British theatrical history with such precision that Grace and Ned might have stepped from the pages of the Georgian gossip sheets and straight into fiction. The Muse of Fire will linger long after reading. It’s not to be missed!” – Catherine Curzon, author of Queens of Georgian Britain, Life in the Georgian Court, and Kings of Georgian Britain
My Review: Oh my stars, this book! Can I give it a standing ovation? Or throw roses at it? Or…what did people do back then when they enjoyed a theater performance…propose! Can I propose to this book, please?
This is my first experience reading work by Carol M. Cram and it will most certainly not be my last. I began this book last night before bed, read way (way) past my bedtime, picked it up again before even getting out of bed and just turned the last page about fifteen minutes ago. (It’s just after lunch as I write this.) I couldn’t put it down to save my life. (I have three piles of laundry on my bed to attest to this.)
Muse of Fire follows the stories of Grace and Ned, in early 1800’s London. Ned works at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in charge of everything behind-the-scenes. When he runs into an injured Grace on his way home from work one night, what follows is a strong friendship and an exciting new future for Grace.
I loved the absolute heck out of this book. (Also, I have a serious crush on Ned. Which meant that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Olympia’s. But, I digress…)
Carol M. Cram brought the sights, sounds, excitement and chaos of the theatre to vivid life for her readers. I could easily picture everything that the author portrayed in detail, moving from scene to scene with ease. And the characters! Don’t get me started. (Actually, do. Do get me started. It’s why I have this blog.) Let’s start with Ned, since I’m going to marry him someday. (Sorry not sorry, Olympia.) Ned had a hard start to his life, and an even harder time trying to make it in London. But he worked hard, and had the biggest heart. I loved his friendship with Grace, and his big-brother protectiveness of her. As for Grace, I loved that the author didn’t make her a bombshell beauty. Grace’s strongest features were her grit and intelligence, her determination to take control of her future. I loved her strength. Olympia was great too, but don’t tell her I said so. I even found myself rooting for Percival!
The book concluded nicely. Not with a “happily-ever-after” so much as a “this-is-real-life” ending. All the loose ends tied up well, and I found myself very happy for my new favorite characters. I miss them terribly already, and wish most desperately that Ned and Grace’s story could continue. (Dear Ms. Cram…)
Everything that makes a book fantastic…literally everything…is present in Muse of Fire. There were some twists that I didn’t see coming (like, total nuh-UH moments). The story was deep and full of emotion, fast-paced and epically written in every way. A huge, huge, huge recommend for lovers of incredible historical fiction.
Carol M. Cram is the author of A Woman of Note (Lake Union Publishing, 2015) and The Towers of Tuscany (Lake Union Publishing 2014). In addition to writing fiction, Carol has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications for Cengage Learning. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist and sharing her Nia practice as a Nia teacher. She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.
Blog Tour Schedule
Thursday, March 1
Review at Teaser Addicts Book Blog
Monday, March 5
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, March 8
Interview at Passages to the Past
Friday, March 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, March 14
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, March 20
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Thursday, March 22
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away three paperback copies of The Muse of Fire! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US and UK.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.