The Emperor’s Conspiracy is a fast moving story heavy on the intrigue and history- with a splash of romantic feeling between Charlotte and Edward. It’s nicely intertwined with the twisty plot that doesn’t neatly fold itself into a particular genre, but straddles several – historical fiction, mystery, a tipple of romance. Charlotte Raven is a particularly appealing character because she doesn’t escape the hardship that would have been face by those who lived in poverty. She’s adopted around the age of twelve, and though she has the appearance of a gentlewoman she is burdened by the horrors of her past, the life she narrowly escaped and the friends left behind who weren’t so lucky. With feet planted firmly in both worlds she navigates the restrictions of her privileged lifestyle and the watchful eye of Luke, a man who still longs for the relationship they shared as younger adults. Diener based her plot on real life Napoleonic conspiracies to topple the English government, and her novel gives every evidence of careful research. I’ll cop to not always knowing what was going on. It is quite detailed, clever and most of all, enjoyable. Recommended.