Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Dancing Master By Julie Klassen Book Review


// The Dancing Master //

By Julie Klassen

{Review By Bethany}
Source: Litfuse Publicity Group
Number of Pages: 432
ISBN: 076421070X
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: January 2014
Bethany's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
// Book Synopsis //

Taken from GoodReads

"Leaving London, dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire---but is stunned to discover that dancing is prohibited! He finds an unlikely ally in Miss Julia Midwinter, but her questions about his past are becoming harder to evade. Together, can they bring new life to this quiet village---and heal long-kept-secret scars?"

// Book Trailer //
// Bethany's Book Review //
Julie Klassen is the author of the book I deemed my favorite fiction novel that I read in 2013 which was her previous release, The Tutor's Daughter. So naturally I was overjoyed to be able to read her newest book, The Dancing Master. While The Tutor's Daughter still takes first place for me, I did enjoy The Dancing Master, and consider it a wonderful read which I enjoyed greatly. I am already the kind of girl who just can't get enough regency fiction; so I knew I'd love this book even before reading it. Being that the regency time period was combined with Julie Klassen's expert story telling and lovely writing style, I knew I was in for a treat-and I was!
One of the things that sets this book apart from the other Julie Klassen books I've read, is how the main character is a male versus the typical female main character you normally see in novels. While it isn't a con or pro either way, it just depends on what you are used to and what you prefer as far as main characters. While it did take me a while to get used to having a male character being the focus of the novel, I don't consider it a negative thing, and think it added a new, unique aspect to the story. While the main female character Julia did play a big part in the story, I felt like Alec's story took place more often that hers, but it was a nice balance, even if unexpected at first.
I did enjoy seeing how Alec and Julia's stories were woven together, especially during the later portion of the story, however I will say that for the longest time their relationship was very basic and a mere friendship. While this is another thing that may be a con or pro for you, depending on taste, I liked how the romance was relatively low being that their relationship didn't go beyond just being friends until the epilogue.
A neat aspect of this book was both the interesting facts on dancing and what a big part of society it was during this time period, as well as the mystery that was in the story with Julia figuring out the truth about her past and real biological family. Both added greatly to the story and kept it interesting which is a huge pro considering the lengthy 400+ page count, which makes keeping the story from getting dry patches much more of a challenge for an author. I loved reading all the excerpts from the advertisements from the newspapers of those days, as well as the quotes concerning dancing that were at the beginning of each chapter. I also loved the small bit of mystery that was in the story when Julia was the main character of that chapter, and loved traveling the journey to figure out her parentage with her as the story progressed. It was a wonderful journey of forgiveness that I enjoyed reading about.
Overall I am yet again impressed with Julie Klassen and am delighted to have been able to journey back in time and learn all there is to know about dancing masters, as well as meet Julia and the other characters in this story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Julie Klassen's other novels, or regency fiction enthusiasts, as this is a true treat!
DISCLAIMER :: I received a free copy of The Dancing Master from Bethany House publishers through Litfuse Publicity Group for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid in any way to review this book, and all thoughts expressed in my review are completely my own, honest and unbiased.
Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master” giveaway and “All Things Jane” webcast 1/23!
Enter Today - 1/6 - 1/23!
Julie Klassen The Dancing Master

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