The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart
When Ava’s estranged father, a world-renowned treasurer hunter, is diagnosed with only weeks to live, she takes on his final mission as her own — to find Fabergé’s last treasure. This dual-timeline takes readers on a hunt for long-lost Imperial egg, and in the process, treats us to a tale of love, family and adventure!
Most of us have heard of the Fabergé eggs created for the Russian Imperial Family. But did you know that not all of the eggs have been recovered? That’s the premise around which The Master Craftsman starts: a long-lost, never-before-seen egg, and the decades-later hunt for its recovery.
In the historical timeline, we see the events leading up to the Russian revolution and the creation of this “missing egg unlike any others.” I was immediately captivated by the scenes within the Fabergé workshop. Stuart created such rich and detailed descriptions of the eggs that I immediately needed to research more. The Hen Egg, the Winter Egg, the Coronation Egg… each of these were described so vividly and beautifully.
I also appreciated that this novel brought to life a fictionalized retelling of the real-life, female master craftsman Alma Pihl. She sounds like an incredibly creative and talented woman and I love that this book spotlighted her role in history. My only wish is that I would have been able to connect with her character deeper!
The modern-day timeline was where most of the suspense took place — and I thought the pacing was great. As a fan of both historical fiction and suspense, The Master Craftsman was a great blend of both. I had a couple of minor plot critiques regarding the ending (and I did guess one of the major twists pretty early on) but none of that detracted from my enjoyment.
All in all, this was an entertaining read with a well-done setting! With its subtle symbolism surrounding the “Master Craftsman,” I thought the messaging was beautiful and the storyline intriguing. An enjoyable read for historical fans!
Readers looking for a dual-timeline historical novel with suspense and mystery!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
About The Master Craftsman:
(From the publisher) In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in The House of FabergZ, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history–an unknown FabergZ Egg that Peter Karl FabergZ 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.