Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers, until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee after speaking out against Lenin and separated from his brother along the way, he arrives in England driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits.
Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera–and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and recreating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove.
After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily. He sees patterns in what she deems chaos; she sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share. When her photographs reveal that someone has been following Zivon, his loyalties are called into question–and his enemies are discovered to be far closer than he’d feared.
I really liked Lily; her part in the war effort is fascinating, especially since it is able to utilize her artistic gift to such great effect And she’s just supremely likeable–willing to stand up when she needs to, yet respectful authority. She dearly, dearly loves her family and hates to be a source of controversy. I understand her dilemma, torn between two things that both seem right yet her parents are diametrically opposed over.
Zivon was a marvelous hero–self-sacrificing, so kind, always paying attention. Though Zivon struggles with hate and unforgiveness, Father Smirnov’s wisdom in how to deal with it was spot-on. It was lovely to see cameos of other characters throughout White’s three related series.
Having taken a course purely on the Russian Revolution in college, I loved its prominence in this novel–even if was from the perspective of an exile in Britain. Since I specifically researched feminism in the Revolution for our sole graded work, I was delighted? dismayed? to see the new ideals so accurately portrayed by Nadya.
Highly recommended! 5 out of 5 stars!
Related Novels in chronological order:
Ladies of the Manor
1. The Lost Heiress
2. The Reluctant Duchess
3. A Lady Unrivaled
Shadows Over England
1. A Name Unknown
2. A Song Unheard
3. An Hour Unspent
1. The Number of Love
2. On Wings of Devotion
3. A Portrait of Loyalty