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THE PALE ASSASSIN by Patricia Elliott


by Patricia Elliott

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2250-0
Publisher: Holiday House

An exciting tale of deranged personal revenge plays out during and through the French Revolution. Eugénie and older brother Armand have no idea that ten years ago, in 1779, an assassin named Goullet swore eternal vengeance against their father for gambling losses and humiliation. Now orphaned, Eugénie and Armand live in Paris with a guardian who signs away Eugénie’s hand in marriage—to Goullet, to be claimed when she comes of age. Goullet, a Javert-like figure, is both sadistic stalker and powerful politician. Between 1789 and 1793, Paris degenerates into bloody chaos and fury. Armand falls in love with constitutionalism even while remaining a royalist; Eugénie begins to recognize her economic privilege but still covets fashion and frivolity. The text flows seamlessly between viewpoints and masterfully conveys the Revolution’s political complexities, with idealism, bitterness and power-lust blending murkily. Even the romantic plotline is inextricable from themes of spying and deception. As King Louis XVI falls under the guillotine, Goullet pursues Eugénie and a friend fleeing for the English Channel. Violent, thrilling and poised for continuation. (cast of historical and fictional characters, historical note, timeline) (Historical fiction. YA)