The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart ~ Book Review

May 10, 2022


About the Book

Book: The Master Craftsman
Author: Kelli Stuart
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: April 5, 2022

In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in The House of Faberge, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Faberge Egg that Peter Karl Faberge secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial Czar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family.

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.

 My Thoughts 

This is my first book by this author and when presented to me the summary sounded amazing and it is a dual timeline which is a favorite type of read for me.  Definitely a story that I could get lost in but sadly that wasn't the case for me. There is a lot to be said for this book but I will keep my thoughts brief. Let's start with the positives. I absolutely loved the historical part of this story. The timeline that takes place in Russia was definitely my favorite part of the book. You can tell that the author did extensive research on the Faberge eggs and Faberge himself which I found quite interesting. If she wrote a book solely on that time period I may take a chance on it. 

I know a lot of authors are trying this concept of writing dual timelines and I must say that after reading and reviewing quite a few of them some are more successful than others. I just felt like it was disjointed. The contemporary storyline was a bit slow and hard to get into. The characters were not relatable and I must admit that Ava just grated on my nerves. Oh, and the almost uses of mild cussing was just not necessary I also felt like the ending left some things unresolved which left me in a more blah mood about this book. 

This book had no faith element whatsoever. It had no mentions of anything relating to God whatsoever. I am no prude. I am no "holier than thou" person nor do I pretend to be. I do prefer to read Christian fiction or Clean Fiction that perhaps has nothing to do with religion. So I definitely don't expect every single book that I read to have some type of faith element. However, if a book is published by a Christian publisher I do expect to be some type of mention of God or anything relating to faith. Sadly, that was not the case here. 

Had it not been for her impeccable historical research this book would've been a 2 star for me but that alone brought it up to an almost 3. Obviously don't go by my thoughts, this is just my review of what I feel about the book. You may completely enjoy it so if you enjoy adventure, treasure hunt type books then give it a try and let me know what you think!

My Rating: 3 Stars/Very weak 3 stars...

I received a copy of this book through the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

About the Author

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 bestselling author of the novels Like a River From Its Course (2017 Carol Award winner for Best Historical Fiction), A Silver Willow by the Shore (2020 recipient of the IPPY Award for Literary Fiction and an NIEA winner), and The Fabulous Freaks of Monsieur Beaumont. Kelli co-authored It's a Wonderful Christmas, a collection of holiday novellas inspired by favorite Christmas films. In 2022, Kelli's fourth novel, The Master Craftsman releases.

Kelli is also co-author of the nonfiction book Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom with Wendy Speake.

Kelli currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and five children.

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