Review of THE MASTER CRAFTSMAN by Kelli Stuart

This is well-written and completely absorbing historical fiction with a dual timeline that works well. The historical part of the book is set in St. Petersburg, Russia during the last years of the Tsars and at the time that the House of Faberge was creating unique eggs for the ruling family. The current time includes engaging characters Nick Laine, a treasure hunter, and his estranged daughter Ava whom he convinces to go to Russia and find a missing Faberge egg. Because of his ill health, Nick cannot go so he sends Ava along with Carol, his former wife, and Zak, a computer guru who is secretly in love with Ava. Once there, Ava meets her Russian helpers, Xander and Anatoly, who are to help her solve the mystery of what happened to the missing egg. The historical details included in this book are fascinating with many details that kept me thoroughly enthralled in the story of how Faberge acts were created. There is mystery, subterfuge and family devotion all rolled up into one neat package in this well-written and intricately developed plot. The characters are almost all likable and relatable and even those whom I did not like were well-developed and multi-faceted. My favorite characters were Zak because of his quirkiness and Ava because of her determination to please her father. The themes of understanding, forgiveness and love are the foundations of this wonderful story that is memorable as well as educational. I learned a great deal about Russian history, the revolution that overthrew the tsars and the Faberge family that was caught in the middle. The mental images presented in the book are vivid, but I also found myself seeking real images on a search engine of what the various Faberge eggs looked like. The intricate details in the eggs is matched by the author’s brilliant and insightful descriptions that placed me right there in St. Petersburg, seeking the treasure alongside of Ava. This is a remarkable story that had an intriguing mystery, a love story and a well-researched story to tell. I highly recommend this captivating book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction that is profound, thought-provoking and well-crafted.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Rated G for all audiences. This is clean Christian fiction that mixes historical fiction with contemporary.
Kelli Stuart is a writer and a storyteller at heart. A graduate of Baylor University with a degree in English Professional Writing, and a minor in the Russian language, Kelli has honed her skills in the written word through editing, ghostwriting, blogging, and traveling the world.
Kelli is the author of the Carol-award winning novel, Like a River From Its Course, based on true stories from Ukrainian World War II survivors. Her second novel, A Silver Willow by the Shore, was the NIEA winner for literary fiction and received the IPPY silver award for literary fiction in 2020.
Kelli’s third book, The Fabulous Freaks of Monsieur Beaumont released in August, 2021. She will release her fourth novel, The Master Craftsman in April, 2022 with Revell books. In addition, Kelli is part of a collection of short stories in the Christmas release, It’s a Wonderful Christmas: Classics Reimagined.
Kelli has co-authored the non-fiction books Dare 2B Wise with Joe White, and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom with Wendy Speake. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and five children. (Info from author’s page on Amazon)

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Many thanks to the Revell Reads Blogger Program which has once again introduced me to an unforgettable author with a book that totally captivated me!

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