With the excitement of this book's recent publication, I decided to go ahead and make The Second Empress the second book I have read by Michelle Moran. You might recall that I loved Cleopatra's Daughter, and I'm thrilled to report that I also greatly enjoyed The Second Empress. Of course, having now read another of Moran's books, I really want to make it a priority to read the rest of them. I honestly think that Moran is a genius at making you feel like you are right there in whatever world and time she is writing about. I felt that way about ancient Egypt in Cleopatra's Daughter and I thought I was getting an inside look at Napoleon's France. Prior to reading Moran, the extent of my experience with historical fiction was primarily Regency England and various periods in the earlier years of America. Now I will happily read any time and place that Moran chooses to take us!In The Second Empress, by telling the story from three different viewpoints -- that of Marie-Louise, Napoleon's second wife, Pauline, Napoleon's sister, and Paul, who is Pauline's servant -- we really get a feel for the complete story behind Napoleon's last six years of reign and his inevitable fall. Fans of Napoleon may not like this story as much because he is certainly not portrayed in a favorable light (Moran makes note of this in an author's note, as well), but I have never cared for him so I had no problem with his treatment. The amount of research that Moran has done is obvious, as well. Though this is, of course, a work of fiction, we are given a bit of a history lesson as well and those who are less familiar with the history of France and Napoleon will be easily able to understand what is going on and learn a bit in the process. Moran also uses many actual letters between Napoleon, his sister, and his first wife, Josephine and between these and the extensive research, this book has the feel of an authentic tale.Of course, tying this all together into the total package is Moran's writing itself. Her dialogues are sharp and sparkling, the use of factual historical detail is written in such a way that the story is only aided by it and not bogged down, and because of this it is nearly impossible not to get swept up in this book. I am looking forward to diving into one of her previously released books soon, and of course, I look forward to reading about when and where Moran takes us next!