One of the most enjoyable, high spirited and technically accomplished works of a long career.
He succeeds, with touches of brilliance, in bringing to life characters in more detail than history ever possibly could
Writing Napoleon's Last Island from Betsy's perspective allows Keneally to entertain readers with his trademark verve and impishness. Few can match him as a storyteller
The outspoken Betsy is a terrific character . . . [There are] some glorious moments . . . lit with Keneally's trademark impish humour. He is a magpie, as preternaturally inquisitive as Napoleon himself, and the book has a cast of characters to rival Dickens.
Immersive and charming . . . Keneally's Betsy is a vivid, attractive portrait of a young girl brinking on young womanhood and a thoroughly useful device. Through her he can view the emperor clearly - as an absurd figure, a joker, a voracious devourer of food, women, information. But there is so much more here, too. The flora and geography of the island are beautifully evoked, the inhabitants drawn in sharp, succinct strokes . . . a pure pleasure to read.
Through Betsy, Keneally beautifully resurrects a voice of the sort lost in official versions of history
A typically polished yarn by a grand master of historical fiction.