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5 STARS          A very good read


This novel centers on the life of Sarah Vaux, a woman of the upper tier of South Carolina Society. From the early teens to middle age her life of the privileged Southern elite is not without danger, distress, and betrayal. The first  chapter captures and throughout the book, the shadows lurking into the background are intriguing.

I enjoyed the rich character development of Sarah, her resilience and courage to face her life challenges as well as the turn of events of the Empress Diamond, I enjoyed this novel and recommend to read and fit to a friend. 

Judith Bednar



5 STARS          I was up all night reading this fantastic blend of history and fiction!


Nancy Rogers combined little known historic facts of the southern rice age and repugnant Haitian conditions with the adventures of two heroic girls give us a book that fascinates. Her characters are believable and we cheer them on as we can relate to them. It begins the night of the Haitian uprising, continues in South Carolina for the next twenty years following the lives of the girls who survive, the effect it had on their lives and how their friendship endures. 




5 STARS          Great book!


Loved the story. It was even better because I live next door to Caledonia. Can’t wait to walk around All Saints grounds.




4 STARS          Love the details and main character

Nancy Rogers is beloved in the Carolinas for her in-person presentations where she makes history come alive through details of daily life and extraordinary events of the past. She has a gift for getting to the heads of historic characters to imagine their motives and fears and passions. In particular, she has spent years researching the life of plantation mistress Sarah Vaux and the people who surrounded her.

While the story line in the Empress' Diamond is a fictional journey into historic events and an enduring mystery, the ways Sarah confronts the challenges of her era are drawn from an immersion in real life details of the 18th and 19th century Lowcountry. Sarah's intellect and grit ring true, so that even while struggling a bit to fulfill a strictly-defined social role, she's her own woman. DISCLAIMER; I have worked with Nancy on several projects, and I know she knows hr stuff! and can paint a word picture that sticks with you for good. 



5 STARS          A must read!


A well written.  A thoughtful blend between fiction and history. Recommend it!




I thoroughly enjoyed reading this first novel by Nancy Rogers. I found it an easy read, yet packed with a lot of well researched information, giving credit to Nancy’s extensive historical knowledge and interest.  It was interesting to learn about yet another chapter in the world’s human history.

The plot is a thriller as well as what is called “historical fiction.”  It grabs your attention and you want to keep reading on to see what happens to Sarah and the rest of the children and then again when she becomes a young married woman with a return to Haiti against her will.

When I choose to read a book, I look for interesting and well-developed characters and a setting that takes me to a place where I can lose myself in another world…away from plagues and wars! 

I read this novel while cruising slowly up the Ohio River and found it to be the perfect complement to several lazy afternoons.

Do read this book – and then reread it.  Each time new and interesting details will appear.  I can’t wait for Ms. Rogers’ next read.


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