“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Friday, October 12, 2018

"The Game of Hope" by Sandra Gulland Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!



Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Viking Books for Young Readers
Hardcover & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction
For Napoleon’s stepdaughter, nothing is simple — especially love.
Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother’s dashing fellow officer. But Hortense is not an ordinary girl. Her beautiful, charming mother Josephine has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France, but viewed by Hortense as a coarse, unworthy successor to her elegant father, who was guillotined during the Terror.
Where will Hortense’s future lie?
Inspired by Hortense’s real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn’t choose.


My review

“The Game of Hope” by Sandra Gulland combines two of my favorite genres:  Young Adult and Historical fiction!  It is a coming of age story of Hortense de Beauharnais, the stepdaughter of Napoleon.  I feel like her story will resonate with a lot of readers.

It’s fascinating to see the events surrounding Napoleon Bonaparte and his leadership, as well as the aftermath of the French Revolution, through the eyes of his teenage stepdaughter.  I love how Ms. Gulland portrays the family and their relationships with one another.  There is often a lot of drama, but their relationships evolve throughout the course of the story.  Throughout these evolutions, one can sense the importance of family.  “The Game of Hope” also shows the value of remembering the past and forgiving.  I especially enjoy reading about the relationship between Hortense and her brother.  There are some great friendships and side characters as well.

“The Game of Hope” is rich with historical accuracy and details!  It’s also told in a way that will resonate with young adults (it’s not too bogged down with the details and it has faster paced chapters).  I find it fascinating to see what Hortense’s life would be like.  She experiences so many everyday things (like living at a boarding school and having her first crush); but also huge, out of the ordinary events (like surviving mobs and moving into a palace).  The story is a secular read, so it does contain some more content than the books I usually feature.  I think it would be appropriate for mature teens (see content below for more information).

“The Game of Hope” is a fascinating glimpse into the life of a teenage girl who finds herself caught in events beyond her control.  The book is a beautiful testament to family, friendship and learning to be confident in oneself. 

Content:  I give this book a PG-13 rating.  There’s more content in this book than the books I normally read, so rather than listing each instance, here’s a few examples:  talk of a woman’s menstrual cycle; a girl mentions she is chaste; the word Negro is used in context: a main character finds a book about sex and is disgusted; mention of demons and spirits; talk of people having affairs; people tell fortunes; the word whore is used; a girl refers to her breasts; a dress is low cut; talk of a person committing suicide; reference to people being drunk.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

Genre: Historical fiction; Young Adult

I want to thank Sandra Gulland, Penguin Teen, Penguin Random House and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

Praise for The Game of Hope

“Gulland, who’s clearly done her research, includes plenty of documented moments and people from Hortense’s life, which cultivates a rich sense of atmosphere . . . Teen fans of historical fiction fascinated by the period will find plenty to appreciate here.” — Booklist
“Gulland has built a career writing historical fiction for adults … . Her pitch-perfect balance of lush period details and character-driven narrative shines again in The Game of Hope. — Quill & Quire
“[The Game of Hope] captures the essence of the period. It is not just a story about a girl; it is about the time; it is about the people whose lives she touched and about the changes spurned from the revolution. That is what makes it so grand and captivating.” — Cyn’s Workshop Review
“Sandra Gulland’s writing is enchanting and beautiful.” — Krimsuun Pages

About the Author

Sandra Gulland is an American-born Canadian novelist specializing in historical fiction. She is the author of the internationally bestselling trilogy of adult books based on the life of Josephine de Beauharnais Bonaparte, as well as two novels set at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Her books have been published in sixteen countries, translated into thirteen languages, and sold more than a million copies worldwide.
Sandra Gulland’s novels include The Josephine B. Trilogy, The Shadow Queen, Mistress of the Sun, and The Game of Hope.



Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 8
Interview at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, October 9
Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, October 10
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Thursday, October 11
Excerpt at A Dream within a Dream
Friday, October 12
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Monday, October 15
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, October 16
Review at Creating Herstory
Wednesday, October 17
Review at Reading the Past
Thursday, October 18
Interview at Creating Herstory
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Friday, October 19
Review at The Lit Bitch
Feature at View from the Birdhouse
Saturday, October 20
Review at Introvert Booklover
Sunday, October 21
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, October 22
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of The Game of Hope to one lucky reader! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below (click on the direct link).
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US Only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


  1. Great review, Megan! I am so happy that you enjoyed The Game of Hope! Thank you for hosting Sandra's blog tour. We appreciate your support :)

    HF Virtual Book Tours

    1. Thanks so much Amy! It is such a great and fascinating book! I appreciate you stopping by and your support as well! Thanks for having me on the tour : )