I have a few books to review in the next couple of weeks, and first up is The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen. I was excited to read another of Julie Klassen's books. I read The Tutor's Daughter and The Girl in the Gatehouse by this author previously, and really enjoyed them.
In The Dancing Master, Alec Valcourt is a fencing and dancing master. He and his family are forced to relocate to a new town where they move in with family and are hoping to start over again. He is unaware that dancing is not allowed in their new town, outlawed by Lady Amelia Midwinter, but still tries to begin to get students in the hope of being able to support his family. Alec starts an unlikely friendship with Lady Amelia's daughter, Julia, who actually wants to learn to dance! The pair must navigate situations filled with mystery, intrigue, danger, and suspense, as they work to become the people they are meant to be.
I really enjoyed this book. This style of historical fiction set in England is particularly enjoyable to me. I love being able to read about a different time period and getting a glimpse into how things were in the past. From the language to the traditions to the fashion of the time, it is fascinating to me to be transported in this way. I feel that Julie Klassen's books and her writing style are very unique to the Christian market and I find her books refreshing and relaxing to read.
I started out not necessarily liking Julia and Amelia's characters, but throughout the course of the novel, the reader learns so much about both of them that explains why they make the choices they do. Both characters experience a great deal of personal growth throughout the story and end up being quite likable and in Lady Amelia's case, even noble. Alec also grows as a person and there is resolution for his family and their situation.
I would definitely recommend this book and Julie Klassen's books to anyone else that enjoys this style of historical fiction.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.
Have any of you read any of Julie Klassen's books? Any other recommendations for Christian historical fiction authors?