FIrst, I am not a historical novel reader. That disclaimer aside, I enjoy history and have a working knowledge of it.
Once I made the transition from the more clipped writing style of the suspense I normally read (such as Daniel Silva) and adjusted to a more florid, flowery style of prose, I enjoyed this novel. Ms. Shotwell obviously knows European history, and I appreciate the way she depicts historic personalities in this work. Her characters interact believably and in ways that advance her story to climax consistently with the historic record. I also appreciate that this was longer than many new releases; I was able to "stay in the story" over several evenings, instead of buzzing through the book in one or two.