Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Night of a Thousand Stars

Night of a Thousand Stars
By Deanna Raybourn
Published: September 30, 2014

New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn returns with a Jazz Age tale of grand adventure 

On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat's wife, Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown. Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip, she spirits away to her estranged father's quiet country village, pursued by the family she left in uproar. But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances, Poppy discovers there is more to her hero than it seems. 
With only her feisty lady's maid for company, Poppy secures employment and travels incognita—east across the seas, chasing a hunch and the whisper of clues. Danger abounds beneath the canopies of the silken city, and Poppy finds herself in the perilous sights of those who will stop at nothing to recover a fabled ancient treasure. Torn between allegiance to her kindly employer and a dashing, shadowy figure, Poppy will risk it all as she attempts to unravel a much larger plan—one that stretches to the very heart of the British government, and one that could endanger everything, and everyone, that she holds dear. 

My review:

What I liked about this book was the way it tied together the Lady Julia Grey mystery series with the author's new 1920s historical fiction. Night of a Thousand Stars is a companion novel to City of Jasmine and it features a cameo appearance by Gabriel Starke, the hero of that book. It also has a character from the Lady Julia series and mentions a few more. The relationship between Poppy and Sebastian reminded me of Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane perhaps with good reason. 

Poppy has always stood out in her family because she can't quite conform with what is expected of her. Her mother is very demanding but her American stepfather is kind and doting. Poppy has a history of not finishing what she starts so when she runs out on her wedding with the help of Sebastian and she later finds out he might be in danger, she decides it is up to her to save the day. Of course Poppy is a novice at adventure so with the help of a friend she secures a job as secretary/typist to an elderly gentleman who is traveling to Damascus where she believes Sebastian may be. There she finds out that no one is who they seem to be and she has to figure out who she can trust.

I enjoyed reading this book even though Poppy sometimes annoyed me. To be fair, she is intelligent though she does have some wrong ideas. She is plucky and headstrong and because she reminded me of Lady Julia, I forgave her occasionally stupid decisions or ideas. I guess if she didn't make some bad decisions then we wouldn't see her grow as a character and it would lessen the excitement and suspense of the story.  I do think that City of Jasmine is better in terms of the mystery plot. With this book, I didn't feel as invested in the mystery though I was curious to see how they would escape to safety. The mystery kind of falls apart or seems unimportant in the end. The romance and characters seem more important here but I did like how Poppy's character develops and even Sebastian grows over the course of the book. Like Gabriel Starke, he is not a perfect hero and he needs Poppy's help as much as she needs his. 

While this book can be read on its own, I suggest that readers at least check out City of Jasmine first. If you haven't read the Lady Julia mysteries, that won't ruin your enjoyment of this book though you may miss out on the various cameos and connections. I have a feeling that readers who like Night of a Thousand Stars will want to read Silent in the Grave if they haven't already. Overall I found this to be an entertaining story that should appeal to fans of romantic adventure.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher


  1. I've been wanting to read this one, looks like such a fun read and I love books set in the 20s era. I'll have to look up the companion books, too!

  2. Character cameos are always so fun! A shame that the mystery wasn't very strong...you're making me more curious about the other book, City of Jasmine.

    Nice honest review :D

  3. Sounds like a fun read. Thanks for being a part of the Saturday Situation Link Up


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