A most beautiful and deliciously indulgent two-some: Prisoner of Night and Fog and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, so far that focuses on Adolf Hitler’s niece, Gretchen, who goes from a Nazi-following ‘good’ German to a Jew-loving ‘bad’ girl, escaping his grip and Berlin in after multiple mysteries are uncovered and their safety is in jeopardy. Anne Blankman is a phenomenally gifted writer and while I thought the first book was a tad long-winded, the second book had artistically-relevant escapades in writing that I appreciated a bit more than the first.
The largely atmospheric historical picture of World War II on the cusp of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power as dictator is equally character-driven. Gretchen’s wholesomeness coupled with her need for justice and Daniel’s tenacity at uncovering the truth combine for a winning couple, though secondary characters are equally as vivid. In the second book, I can’t help but remember the sight of Gretchen’s mother in the dilapidated house or Daniel’s parents clenching their jaws when Gretchen arrived, or the cafe meetings with Daniel’s informants, or when Hitler makes his appearances.
And the genius that I also see is in the marketing of both the covers and titles, which make it appealing and mysterious. I would recommend this for any historical fiction fan young adult or adult.