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Karleen Koen

Autor(a) de Through a Glass Darkly

8 Works 2,999 Membros 85 Críticas 8 Favorited

About the Author

Karleen Koen attended North Texas State University and was an editor at the Houston Home and Garden magazine. Koen has written Through a Glass Darkly, which took much preparation and research, and its sequel, Now Face to Face. (Bowker Author Biography)
Image credit: Joan Boote


Obras por Karleen Koen

Through a Glass Darkly (1986) 1,390 exemplares
Dark Angels (2006) 831 exemplares
Now Face to Face (1995) 508 exemplares
Before Versailles (2011) 266 exemplares
Som i en spegel (1987) 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Koen, Karleen
Data de nascimento
20th Century
Locais de residência
Houston, Texas, USA
magazine writer



The only thing that kept me from throwing this across the room was that it was on my Kindle. The only thing that made me finish was to see how it turned out. Characters while well drawn were all either simpering or dissolute, and I was unsympathetic to most of them. I think the problem here was just too much description. While well done - just agonizingly too much.
MuggleBorn930 | 32 outras críticas | Jul 11, 2021 |
From the viewpoint of historical fiction; this is some really good stuff. Set during the politically tumultuous time of the change from the House of Stewart to the House of Hanover in the British monarchy; this was an era of intrigue, rebellion, betrayal and retribution. The political maneuverings in this book are substantial and fascinating.

So there is a romance involved; I will admit that I don't read romance novels but I don't let romance get in the way of a good historical novel. Poor young Barbara Alderley; I do feel for her. The tender heart and romantic dreams of a 15 year old girl.....so sweet, so impossible. Just wait, sweetie, once you have had your babies and hit mid-life, an arranged marriage with a 20-years-your-senior, titled and wealthy gay man is going to seem like the answer to your prayers.

I adore the Dowager Duchess of Tamworth; she has become one of my all-time favorite fictional characters. I like Barbara's cousins; Mary, and Tony, the young Duke of Tamworth. Some of the servants are wonderful; Annie, Perryman and the young footman, James, really liven up the scenes at Tamworth. Montrose, White, and Therese, from Barbara's household also add depth and interest to the human drama. The non-human drama is pretty good, too. Dulcinea is one of the most fully realized fictional felines I have ever had the joy of reading about. As I am a non-partisan lover of dogs and cats I also enjoyed reading about the pugs; they seem very much like some of the pugs I have met during my life.

The bad guys in this book are also startlingly realistic. Some of the bad guys are just selfish people, like Barbara's mother, Diana. Others, like the Duc du Richeliu and that horrid little French princesse, are more actively evil and destructive.

I enjoy Koen's writing style; I thought it was elegant and inspiring of imagery without being too pretty or overwrought. The woman has a way of telling a story; I have to give her that. Much happens in this novel, both in the story arcs of the characters and the historical era. We are left with a real cliffhanger at the end.

Don't worry, there is a sequel.

… (mais)
Equestrienne | 32 outras críticas | Jan 5, 2021 |
Before there ever was a Duke or Duchess of Tamworth, there was Alice Verney, daughter of Baron Verney and member of the court of Charles II. Knowing her from her later years, this is a fascinating look at who she started out being and why she became the person we knew as the Dowager Duchess of Tamworth.

This book also shares the same political intrigues and maneuverings as Koen's earlier novels. We meet historical characters; tragic Marie Henriette, the Duchess d' Orleans, aka Madame; the outrageous and obnoxious Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, and her new rival for the affections of Charles II, Louise de Keroualle.

A major player, previously seen only in memories, walks onto the stage in the form of Richard Saylor, the future Duke of Tamworth. Previously known to us only as crones, his sisters Elizabeth and Louisa have been transformed into lovely young maidens. Their mother, Jerusalem Saylor, is introduced and has become my favorite new character in this novel. This wonderful woman seems to be a throwback to an earlier time, an old fashioned Celtic pagan in a world obsessed with which form of Christianity to embrace, a 17th century Boudicca treading carefully among the Catholics and Protestants. I could read more about her.

This book wraps up the early phase of the life of the Duchess of Tamworth; it would be wonderful to read a book or two that bridges the gap between this novel and Through A Glass Darkly. I can see either Alice or Richard (or Perryman or Jerusalem Saylor)giving Henri Ange his final comeuppance in a sequel.
… (mais)
Equestrienne | 20 outras críticas | Jan 5, 2021 |
My first worry upon starting this book was that the Duchess of Tamworth might no longer be with us......she is! Alive and kicking and more astute and ornery than ever.

In this book, new characters are introduced and old characters take on more dominant roles. We start out with Barbara's New World adventures, which could be subtitled 'Lady Devane Grows Up'. Barbara is at last pitched forcefully from the cocoon of her sheltering life and her focus on her own needs and desires. She becomes a socially conscious young woman and begins to take an active role. She learns much about life and love, as well as land and tobacco crops and slave labor. She experiences a tragic loss. She returns to England.

We also have the treat of a fascinating historical backdrop for the action. Back home the throne of George I is being threatened by rumors of invasion; the Stewart claimant to the throne is said to be putting together an army to come to England. The situation is tense, as no one truly knows which side anyone else might be aligned with. Barbara soon finds herself in a precarious situation; she has to balance her position at court with her love for a Jacobite spy; meanwhile her mother, Diana, is sharing her bed with Robert Walpole, a man who poses great danger to Barbara.

Barbara's childhood friend, Jane Ashford Cromwell, along with Jane's husband, Augustus Cromwell, and her father, Sir John Ashford come to the forefront of the action in this book. Their story is action packed and very good; although not tragedy free.

For me the true stars of this novel were Alexander "Lumpy" Pendarves and Louisa, Lady Shrewsbury. Their December romance is funny and sweet. And how about that reveal.....I wanted to high-five Aunt Shrew at the end of the book; what an awesome crazy old broad she was!

From here we have a prequel of sorts in "Dark Angel", which tells the tale of Lady Alice Varney as a young lady at the court of Charles II. Good, because I'm not sure I would want to read any books in this series without her......she should always be a character.
… (mais)
Equestrienne | 9 outras críticas | Jan 5, 2021 |



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