Book Review: A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White (Codebreakers #3)

About this Book-

Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon’s loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple’s future dreams–it becomes a matter of ending the war.

My Review

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This book was so good! I feel like I’ve said this about every book I’ve read in 2020, but I’ve felt like I’ve been in a reading slump for a while and this book was such a good one to read to get me out of it!

I’ve been reading this series for a while, as well as the Shadows Over England series and the Lost Heiress series, which tie into The Codebreakers series, so really it feels like a whole series (ugH I love books that do that thank you Roseanna M. White), so finishing this book felt really bittersweet. I loved seeing characters from other books making an appearance in this one.

As for this book, I really loved both the main characters! Zivon was a ~dark and mysterious~ type, but half of the chapters were written from his perspective, so that his thoughts were revealed and it helped him feel more personable. I actually feel more connection with him than Lilly, the main female lead and I really liked his introspection and his faith.

Lilly was also really fun to read! I loved reading about her work (and of course, like I have mentioned MANY times, I LOVE reading about women who have had “real” jobs throughout history and this was no exception). In addition, I loved reading about her relationship with her sister, as well as her family overall! Her romance with Zivon was also so sweet, and I loved reading it.

The alternate perspective that was given in this book was also super interesting and added a bit of a suspense element to the book (I can’t say exactly what because it’s not mentioned in the blurb and would be a spoiler), but I did really enjoy the secondary storyline as well!

The historical setting in this book was excellent: I remember learning about the Germans and Russians in World War I during high school, but it didn’t really sink in until I read this book. There was also a lot of historical pieces scattered throughout this book, such as the flu pandemic (which . . . was Certainly Something to read in 2020, especially when wearing masks were mentioned!), the end of WWI, as well as Lilly and Zivon’s work in the British Admiralty office. The line between historical brain dump and including enough facts to make a story feel authentic is thin but Roseanna does it so well, in this book, as in all her other books.

The faith topics in the book were also really good! Zivon was a Russian Orthodox, and Lilly was a ~standard Protestant~ and both of them contributed to the faith discussion in the book, which were really good. There was also a good discussion about using one’s skills and talents to benefit the overall good of the world, which I found really insightful.

Overall, I really really enjoyed this book! It tied up the series very well with the end of the war, and while I will be sorry to see this story wrap up, I’m glad I’ve read it! It’s probably one of my favorite Christian fiction series, and in a way, it changed my life and my reading habits.

My Rating


I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.


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