Monday, December 13, 2021

Wings of the Falcon - Keeper Shelf Review

Goodreads:  Wings of the Falcon by Barbara Michaels

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source:  Purchased 

Description:  The death of her English father left Francesca alone and unprotected, with nowhere to turn but to the noble Italian family of her late mother. Adrift in a strange land, surrounded by cold and suspicious relatives who had disowned her mother on her wedding day, Francesca is determined to make the best of a bad situation. But nothing could have prepared her for the nest of dark secrets and oppressive cruelty she has been cast into. And her fate now rests in the hands of a mysterious horseman known as the Falcon, whose appearance will speed her salvation ... or hasten her doom.

Genre: Mystery - Gothic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm rereading all of my Keeper Shelf books to see if they still deserve their place on that shelf.

My Impression: This book is basically the basis for anything I know about Italian history!  I remember when I first read it being shocked by the structure of the Italian government in the 19th century as well as the amount of strife and turmoil.  I'm not normally a fan of the "had I but known" style of narration but here it works well.  I think part of this is because Michaels has a writing style that pulls me in immediately but the other part is that there's a bit of a twist on it in this book.  Instead of "had I but known" Francesca's voice is more along the lines of "wow I was such an idiot back then it's almost embarrassing" which made her a bit more human and easier to relate to her.  

The plot is compelling if a bit on the over the top Gothic style.  Franceseca's romantic tendencies are balanced by the more practical mannerisms of her companion Miss Perkins who may be one of my favorite side characters in all of Michaels' books.  Andre and Stefano are also an interesting juxtaposition.  The family dynamics and their politcal place was also interesting.

While there is a bit of Italian political and social history in this book for the most part it's a fun Gothic style mystery with a helping of romance.  It's an easy an fun read and one I always enjoy.  It has definitely re-earned its place on the Keeper Shelf.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Definitely!  Barbara Michaels' books are some of my favorite escapism reads and this is one I will reread.  

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy a good Gothic style read that is fast paced then this is an author and a book I'd definitely recommend.


  1. I don't think I've ever tried this author so it was nice to read how much this one still appeals to you.

  2. I never read this author, but have heard great things about her.

  3. Sounds really good, I so admire the rereading and checking that it still sits on the keeper shelf.

  4. I finally have my keeper shelves pared down to those I know I want to keep forever. Its a good feeling. 🙂