Couldn't finish it - couldn't handle the supernatural giggling angels disappearing into walls, etc. Also didn't connect with the characters. It wasn't badly written, just not my style.
This book was not as good as some of her other books,altho her trilogy was a great read. This one had a plot that was too complex. I did enjoy the main caracter and the angels were fun.
From the dust jacket: "The book opens in Tudor England, where Henry VIII and his Machiavellian counselor Cardinal Wolsey are scheming to put an English heir on the Frence throne. They are arranging to marry Henry's pretty, frivolous younger sister, Mary, to the aging king of France, and they are succeeding thanks to in no small measure to a breathtaking miniature of Mary that has been delivered secretly into the king's hands. Everyone wants to know the identity of the painter who created this small miracle, and speculation is rampant. Because women are not allowed in the painters' guild, no one suspects that the artist is a woman, Susanna Dallet, who has been bitterly disappointed by her cad of a husband, who left her widowed and penniless with only her nearly divine talent for portrait painting to sustain herself. Susanna catches the eye and not-quite-benign protection of the manipulative, scheming, brilliant Wolsey--who is utterly captivated by her wit, her independence, and her uncanny gift for capturing character with the delicate strokes of her tiny brush. Placed in the entourage of the princess-bride as she travels stormy seas to the royal wedding, Susanna unknowingly carries with her to France the key to a secret that will embroil her in the diabolical plots swirling through the French court. But high in the rigging of the preicess' silk-bannered ship sits the angel of art, who not only snatches Susanna from danger but rewards her courage and feisty resourcefulness with the love of an intelligent--and devastatingly attractive--hero."
While ostensibly about a woman miniature painter who is sent to France to record the wedding of Louise of Savoy to the aged King of France, it's the demons that steal the show. (Lord Belfagor is unforgettable, belching smoke about Paris while learning proper court etiquette.) There's lots of imps and cherubs and a few angels along the way, all with a great setting in medieval London and Paris. Lots of mystery and intrigue, a few murders, and some sly humor about painting and the war between good and evil. If you enjoyed The Oracle Glass, I think you'll like this too, but for different reasons.
Judith Merkle Riley has a way of bringing the reader right into the story. The action of the characters is believable and it gave me an inside view of their society. What a hard place for a woman to be! Lots of humor, great images and admiration for the main characters. An excellent and satisfying read.