Monday, June 19, 2017

DNF Review: Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis

Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis
Congress of Secrets
by Stephanie Burgis
November 1, 2016
340 pages

Goodreads Summary:
In 1814, the Congress of Vienna has just begun. Diplomats battle over a new map of Europe, actors vie for a chance at glory, and aristocrats and royals from across the continent come together to celebrate the downfall of Napoleon…among them Lady Caroline Wyndham, a wealthy English widow. But Caroline has a secret: she was born Karolina Vogl, daughter of a radical Viennese printer. When her father was arrested by the secret police, Caroline’s childhood was stolen from her by dark alchemy.

Under a new name and nationality, she returns to Vienna determined to save her father even if she has to resort to the same alchemy that nearly broke her before. But she isn’t expecting to meet her father’s old apprentice, Michael Steinhüller, now a charming con man in the middle of his riskiest scheme ever.

The sinister forces that shattered Caroline’s childhood still rule Vienna behind a glittering façade of balls and salons, Michael’s plan is fraught with danger, and both of their disguises are more fragile than they realize. What price will they pay to the darkness if either of them is to survive?


Congress of Secrets was a title I was really excited for so it really pained me to DNF it. I was about 100 pages in before I put it down. I don't think I'll be picking it back up. A couple things kept me from enjoying this book but I did notice things other readers might enjoy.

The biggest problem I had with Congress of Secrets was how much I couldn't get into the writing. Everything felt a little too wordy. I tried so hard to appreciate them but it only left me feeling mentally exhausted.

The story also felt a little too complex to start off with. From the very beginning we're thrown into the minds of multiple characters. The differing POVs were hard to grasp so early on because I knew so little about these characters. It all just felt too quick and too much. I hope it got better as the story went on...

I was however,  impressed with each characters' determination, particularly Caroline's. From what I've read she was determined to uphold her front in order to exact revenge. No matter the sort of problem she ran into, she kept moving forward. I sincerely hope she got the ending she deserves.

I'm sad I wasn't able to finish this book. Despite my disappointment, Congress of Secrets does have potential. It just wasn't for me.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. Wordy writing is definitely distracting. I'm sorry this book was such a disappointment! Hope you love your next read :) Awesome review!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. This was the type of wordy that I just couldn't get past :S Thanks Brittany <3


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