Saturday 14 September 2019

#BookReview — A Place in the World (The Miramonde Series, Book 3) by Amy Maroney #Renaissance #HistoricalFiction @wilaroney

A Place in the World
(The Miramonde Series, Book 3)
By Amy Maroney

The secrets of the past are treacherous…and irresistible.
A Renaissance-era female artist and an American scholar. Linked by a centuries-old mystery…
2016: Scholar Zari seizes the chance to return to Europe as a consultant for an art dealer. Overwhelmed by her job, she has little time to hunt for clues about Mira. But when art experts embrace a theory that Mira’s paintings are the work of a famous man, Zari must act. Racing against time, she travels to a windswept corner of Spain. What she discovers there solves the puzzle of Mira forever—and unlocks the secrets of Zari’s own past.
1505: Pregnant and reunited with the love of her life, artist Mira survives a harrowing journey to the city of her dreams. But Bayonne is nothing like she imagined. Navigating a dangerous world ruled by merchants and bishops, she struggles to reignite her painting career. When an old enemy rises from the shadows, Mira’s life is thrown into chaos all over again—and she is faced with a shattering decision.

"Have you learned anything new on the topic of Mira de Oto since I saw you in the spring?"

The year is 2016 and the closer art historian, Zari Durrell, gets to finding Renaissance artist, Mira de Oto, the more elusive she becomes. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the art experts, Mira is nothing more than a good story — there is no credibility to it, especially since Dottie Butterford-Swinton has disproved Zari's findings. But Zari is convinced that Mira was a skilled artist and she is determined to pull her from obscurity.

A new life, that is what Mira and her husband, Arnaud de Luz, had hoped when they reached Bayonne in the year 1505. But the long journey to Bayonne had taken its toll. Rose is dead and with a heart that is broken, Mira wonders if she will ever feel normal again for grief is eating up her soul, and the welfare for the baby she carries in her womb lies heavy on her mind. What if she lost this baby too? How would she survive?

As Mira and her family struggle to make a new life, an old enemy is plotting their demise. Will Mira and her family survive? Will Mira ever paint again? And back in 2016, will Zari ever discover the truth about Mira de Ot?

Elegant, powerful and shamelessly compelling are words I would use to describe A Place in the World (The Miramonde Series, Book 3) by Amy Maroney.

I have been waiting with eager anticipation for the final book in The Miramonde Series, and I am pleased to say it was more than I imagined it could be, and then some. Not only is the world, both modern and Renaissance, luxuriantly detailed, but the characters are rich and vibrant and wholly irresistible. 

I embraced this series from Book 1, and I have enjoyed the journey this trilogy has taken me on. It seems strangely like a privilege as I watched Mira grow up within the pages of these books and become a woman in her own right. Maroney has masterfully portrayed how difficult it was for female artists in this era, not to only to be recognised alongside their male counterparts, but to be taken seriously at all. I could not help but admire Mira's tenacious refusal not to become disheartened and to keep doing what she cherished. This made Mira not only a woman to respect but one who was very inspirational — it is such a shame she is a fictional character, I so wanted her to be real!

As with the other books, this story is told from a contemporary point of view as well as a Renaissance one. To pull this mixed timeline off takes considerable skill. Many times a reader will find themselves drawn to one era of the book and flick through the pages of the other, but I found both Zari's hunt for Mira, and Mira's story equally fascinating. And because both timeframes run seamlessly along together, my attention never wavered. A Place in the World (The Miramonde Series, Book 3) is brilliantly executed and masterfully written.

This is a novel that is next to impossible to put down, and the short chapters make this long book seem so much shorter than what it actually is.

The richness of the history has to be commended. There is a depth to Maroney's narrative, a vibrant perspective that brought the Renaissance era back to life in all its sweeping glory. The attention to detail, and Maroney's knowledge of the Renaissance artists, is staggering. Maroney writes with passion and a familiarity for the era — she knows her history and her art very well. The same can be said for the contemporary parts of this novel. 

Maroney has an intuitive understanding of how the art industry, with its system of coinciding subdivisions, operates. I was absolutely fascinated as Maroney delved deeper into the world of art. Saying that, however, you do not have to have an understanding or even like Renaissance art to fall in love with this series. The characters and the narrative are enough. The art is just a bonus!

If you are looking for your next great series, then please, look no further than The Miramonde Series. You won't be disappointed — I almost envy you, for I know what a fantastic journey you are about to go on. I love this series, and I think you will too.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pre-order your copy of
A Place in the World

Amy Maroney

Amy Maroney lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. She studied English literature at Boston University and public policy at Portland State University, and spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction before turning her hand to historical fiction. She’s currently obsessed with pursuing forgotten women artists through the shadows of history. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, drawing, dancing, traveling, and reading. She’s the author of The Girl from Oto and Mira’s Way, the first two books in the Miramonde Series. The third book in the series will be published later in 2019. To receive a free prequel novella to the series, join Amy’s readers’ group at You can find her on Twitter @wilaroney, on Instagram @amymaroneywrites, and on Facebook.

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See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx