The Diamond Eye | Book Review


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kate Quinn has done it again. One of the best books I’ve ever read.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Kate Quinn
Published: March 2022
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Pages: 435 (hardback)

If you haven’t read Kate Quinn yet, then you are depriving yourself of some of the highest quality historical fiction out there. I fell in love with her writing after reading The Rose Code and was bowled over by the sheer brilliance of the story in The Diamond Eye.

Set during WWII and following a female Russian sniper, this book has so many things unique going for it. Not only is there a powerful, confident and inspiring woman at the helm of the story, but the nuanced grasp that Quinn has on feminism and the way she articulates it in this novel is unparalleled. From micro-aggressions to blatant misogyny, feminism is tucked away into every spare corner of this story and you just know that Quinn has written this for women. There are so many moments when you roll your eyes and smirk because you know exactly what she means in all the little comments. Ah, it’s just so good, so well done.

It would be impossible to separate this story of a female war hero from the overbearing presence of sexism, so if that’s not your jam, this ain’t your book (though I really hope it is, because 👀). It is for this reason – the immensely clever way that Quinn captures what it means to be a woman and how frustrating it is to not be heard by men – that this book has lodged in my heart as one of the best books I’ve ever read.

I always say my favourite thing about historical fiction is when I read about a topic I *think* I know quite a lot about, and am then proven wrong by a huge chunk of that history being smacked down on the table in front of me and providing a whole new angle. The Diamond Eye certainly did that.

I’m a big fan of Russian history around this time, and it was doubly interesting to read in the current political climate of 2022, so this book really held my interest. I applaud Kate Quinn on her spectacular research efforts and ability to bring to life the story of someone who was surely a force to be reckoned with in real life.

The romance in this is also fabulous. From a sour ex-husband, to several love stories following, your heart strings will be pulled ferociously by the beautiful characters that come to life on these pages. The action is exciting, the stakes are high, and the stress over Mila’s welfare will have you biting your nails as you flip the pages. Also, huge highlight is the fun way that Eleanor Roosevelt comes into the story.

The audiobook is how I read this and the narrator did a very good job. The voices, the acting – fabulous. It really made this into an unforgettable experience. It is the same narrator who did The Rose Code.

I sure hope she’s writing a new book for 2023 because I can’t get enough of her stories.

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