The Executioner's Heir

The Executioner's Heir : A Novel of Eighteenth-Century France

4.2 (45 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Charles-Henri Sanson has good looks, a fine education, and plenty of money: everything that a stylish young Parisian could ask for. He also has an infamous family name-and he's trapped in a hideous job that no one wants.

The last thing Charles ever wanted to be was a hangman. But he's the eldest son of Paris's most dreaded public official, and in the 1750s, after centuries of superstition, people like him are outcasts. He knows that the executioner's son must become an executioner himself or starve, for society's fears and prejudices will never let him be anything else. And when disaster strikes, in this true story of destiny and conflicting loyalties in decadent, treacherous pre-revolutionary France, family duty demands that Charles take his father's place much sooner than he had ever imagined.

"Alleyn's exhaustive research pays off handsomely in well-drawn characters and colorful historical context. In particular, her female characters are refreshing in their range and willingness to defy stereotypes. A sequel would be welcome to this deftly imagined tale of the years before the French Revolution. A well-researched, robust tale featuring an endearing executioner." --Kirkus Reviews

(Starred Review) "Charles's personal crisis and clashing loyalties evoke Greek tragedy, and speak to the issues that will resonate with readers." --Publishers Weekly
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Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19mm | 467g
  • Albany, NY
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Annotated edition
  • 1492306797
  • 9781492306795
  • 2,059,739

About Susanne Alleyn

Susanne Alleyn has loved history all her life, aided and abetted by her grandmother, Lillie V. Albrecht, an author of historical children's books in the 1950s and 60s. Susanne is the author of the Aristide Ravel historical mystery series, set in revolutionary Paris; A FAR BETTER REST, the reimagining of Dickens's A TALE OF TWO CITIES; the nonfiction MEDIEVAL UNDERPANTS AND OTHER BLUNDERS: A WRITER'S (AND EDITOR'S) GUIDE TO KEEPING HISTORICAL FICTION FREE OF COMMON ANACHRONISMS, ERRORS, AND MYTHS; and A TALE OF TWO CITIES: A READER'S COMPANION, an annotated guide to the classic novel. Happy to describe herself as an "insufferable knowitall" about historical trivia, Susanne has been writing about and researching eighteenth-century and revolutionary France for nearly three decades. Read more at www.susannealleyn.com.
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Rating details

45 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 42% (19)
4 38% (17)
3 18% (8)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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