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The Draughtsman Damsel by Emily Klein

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Image of The Draughtsman Damsel by Emily Klein, reviewed by On My Kindle Book Reviews.

Source: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: January 11, 2016

Back Cover

At the age of Ten, Following her fathers political decision, Annabelle is torn from her childhood home at the Duke's court at Calais and from her best friend the Dukes youngest son, Thomas. She comes to the English court and tries her best to avoid all courtly, ladylike occupations, and to follow scholarly pursuits usually reserved for boys. Her father, Lord Latimer's connection with the Duke diminishes and he decides to match her for marriage elsewhere. after an unsuccessful courtship event a letter arrives from the Duke asking Latimer, who is an Architect, to return to Calais and aide the Duke in constructing a grand chivalric monument. Annabelle who is by then found out to be competent at planing and sketching joins her father to be further educated there. Latimers mason falls under the Dukes influence and cannot assist in building the castle. Latimer then recruits Thomas the Dukes son as a consultant and his own daughter as his assistant draughtsman. The Two after many obstacles and tribulations reluctantly and unwittingly fall in love. When Annabelle confronts the Mason for an error he had made in the construction it sets a course of events in motions that results in the banishment of her and her father. Will Annabelle and Thomas's love conquer all obstacles.

Summary

The protagonist, Annabelle, is a well-educated girl who enjoys her lessons in math more than the lessons in sewing and social mannerisms. Her clever, high-spirited ways makes her unsuitable for most "proper gentlemen," and she knows that the only man who can handle her free spirit is her childhood friend, Thomas. Unfortunately Thomas' father, an erratic and unstable Duke, will not allow Thomas to court her.

Despite these turn of events, Annabelle's father agrees to help create a grand castle for the Duke's "lord." Rather than devoting herself to learning the finer points of being a lady, Annabelle devotes her time to assisting her father with drafting the grand castle.

Review

I was delighted by Annabelle because she cast off the gender roles of a medieval society and followed her passion for math and drafting. I feel that Klein's interpretation of a free spirited woman in medieval society is realistic and engaging. I was impressed by Klein's ability to convey that Annabelle's devotion to math and science was taboo in medieval times by relating the assumptions that most of the male characters in the book made about Annabelle.

I enjoyed the political intrigue that is part of the sub-plot. I felt that this was planned out very well, and it seems accurate for the setting. Some aspects of the romantic plot have a Shakespearean feel to them, but they conflicted with the elements that were more contemporary. In medieval times, it was highly unusual for a couple to be matched for love, especially when there were several matches available that would grant the family more political power, or a higher social standing. I feel that this made the romantic plot more fantastical rather than realistic.

The wording in the plot feels a bit awkward at times; possibly because the author was trying to translate her thoughts from contemporary English into formal English. While it does not detract from the author's ability to make her point, the book would flow better with a bit more editing.

Overall, The Draughtsman Damsel by Emily Klein is a charming romance that is not graphic or bordering on erotica. If you enjoy light medieval-style romances with a bit of political intrigue, I suggest that you give this book a try.

        

About Emily Klein

Emily Klein, author of The Draughtsman Damsel reviewed by On My Kindle Book Reviews.
Emily Klein, photo courtesy of Facebook.
I am a social worker and mother of two. a hardcore anglophile with an avid interest in medieval history and a romantic spirit. I live with my husband, two daughters and dog in a suburban town in central Israel.

Have you read The Draughtsman Damsel, or one of Emily Klein's other books. If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments, but no spoilers please!

Enjoy!