Sunday, March 27, 2016

Book Review: Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet

It’s been ten years since Maximillian Schindler-Krug found out his parents were from another world. Now, he’s facing the biggest trial of his life: his coronation. Max is feeling the pressure of a position he never asked for, and he needs one last vacation before taking the crown. Using the portals between Neu Meidling and Wien, he gets his taste of freedom. But there are problems. First, he doesn’t arrive in Wien as a human the way he’s supposed to. He’s something else entirely. Second, the portals won’t let him and his bodyguard Lily travel back. Third, there’s someone here in Wien trying to kidnap him. And worst, he left behind a kingdom threatened by revolution against the monarchy. Max’s simple escape has made a mess of things.

That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from Amazon
The portals between worlds have been shut down, leaving king-to-be Max Schindler-Krug trapped in our world in the form of a goat. An impending revolution, a murderer on the loose, recurring nightmares and a mad scientist stand between him and the throne. It’s going to take more than a talking swan, a fainting goat and copious amounts of coffee and cake to save the day.

Ten years since the murder of his mother, Max Schindler-Krug is having increasingly vivid dreams about the night that changed his life forever, but that is the least of his problems. His coronation as King of Neu Meidling is approaching fast, but revolution across the kingdom threatens the monarchy and the portals between the worlds have been mysteriously sealed, closing off all trade and splitting up families.
Karin’s peaceful life at the Alt Wien is turned upside-down when her daughter brings home a wounded swan, leading her to discover a lost family secret that will change her life forever. Her own husband’s place in events could rip their relationship apart.
Lily, a trainee Beschützer finds herself trapped in another world, torn between her duty to protect the Wächter line and coffee trade and her love for her future king. When she meets a man who could solve all her problems, she has to make a choice that could topple the monarchy, assuming she can get the young king back home alive.

“Danube Waves” takes us back to the linked worlds of the Wiener Blut universe first introduced in “The Coffee Legacy”, revisiting beloved characters and introducing new ones, not to mention tickling the tastebuds with a range of traditional Austrian cakes.

Danube Waves takes place ten years after the previous novel, The Coffee Legacy.

My Thoughts
One thing I really love about Bordet’s books is the difference in culture from my own. In each chapter, she brings in a different treat from Wien. In the first book, we explored coffee. In Danube Waves, it’s cake. So. Many. Cakes! It’s enough to make one drool, to read the descriptions of them at the beginnings of every chapter.
Bordet brought a good deal of light humor into this novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. With the time gap between this book and the one before, it lent her the opportunity to introduce some new characters and situations while still bringing back issues from the first book. I loved the addition of Gary to the cast, and almost any time he was involved in a scene, I couldn’t help but smile. He was just a joy to read.
In some ways, this book seems like an alternate universe’s soap opera, with the interweavings of different families and their conflicts and secrets. She keeps pulling new cards out of her deck of tricks. And even by the end, she still isn’t completely tapped out on the mess these people have made of one another’s lives. She pulls a new twist at the last moment to pave the way for another book. I will be looking for book 3 with eager eyes and rumbling stomach. I can only imagine what treats we’ll get with that one.

Would I Recommend This Book? Sure! If you love cake, definitely. If you’re looking for an intriguing and twisty plot set in worlds both familiar and foreign, you’ll find one here. I give Danube Waves a baked 4 of 5 stars.

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