Review & Giveaway: Royal Beauty Bright by Ryan Byrnes

Royal Beauty Bright by Ryan Byrnes

Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Blank Slate Press
Paperback; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/WWI

After an autistic man ends up in the trenches of World War I, a nun-turned-journalist dances with treason to care for him, and a candy store clerk posing as Santa Claus risks everything to bring him home.

While in France, Luther meets Ethyl, an aspiring journalist who tries to expose his plight. As Christmas approaches, Luther sinks into despair and Ethyl is threatened with punishment.

Back home, Luther's brother Jim enlists with the British Army Postal Service. His job, delivering sacks of Christmas gifts to the frontline soldiers, is a cover for his plan to rescue Luther. The plan is made even more difficult by three refugee girls convinced that Jim, with his bag of gifts, is Santa Claus.

Jim and Ethyl finally cross paths with Luther on Christmas Day, 1914, when they witness one of the most uplifting spectacles of nonviolence in history, when thousands of soldiers broke orders and refused to fire on each other during the Christmas Truce of 1914.

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Royal Beauty Bright is a seriously impressive debut historical from Ryan Byrnes!

When I first heard of this book it reminded me of an old Garth Brooks song, 'Belleau Wood', which was the first time I had heard of the Christmas Truce of WWI. I can't even get through the first few lines of the song without breaking down crying. It's such a haunting song but beautiful.

Alternating between the Western Front on Christmas Eve & Christmas in 1914, and back to 1897, Royal Beauty Bright tells the story of a young Autistic man, Luther, who is tricked into signing up for the Army and is sent to the frontlines, and the people who band together (Rodney, Jim, and Ethyl) to help keep him safe and bring him home. And in the course of that their lives will be changed forever by war, and they will experience one of the greatest events of history - where German and British soldiers put down their guns and joined together as humans to celebrate Christmas.

I enjoyed how the author created multiple POV's to tell the complete story and I really enjoyed following Jim's storyline. Jim is Luther's brother and is trying to redeem himself in his mother's eyes by finding Luther. He signs up to join the Royal Engineers and help deliver packages and gifts to the troops. When he finds three young stowaway girls on the train they think he is Santa Claus and he helps them to try and find their families.

I absolutely loved Royal Beauty Bright! I was floored that this was a debut novel - the writing was fantastic, the pace flowed well, and the characters were great, especially Luther. I think the author tackled the Autism aspect with heart and intelligence. I can't wait to see what Byrnes writes next!

If you're looking for a historical novel with heart or eager to start your holiday reads, look no further than Royal Beauty Bright!

About the Author

Ryan Byrnes is a St. Louis native. His first foray into writing was founding the publishing imprint, Avency Press, where he wrote one illustrated chapter book, The Adventures of Wheatail, and four young adult fantasy novels in the Son of Time series. Since then, he has worked with a publishing company, a literary agency, and various aspiring writers seeking to self-publish. Ryan now lives in Iowa as a student in mechanical engineering and English. Between work hours, he builds Mars Rovers with his roommates, plays with cats, and watches Wes Anderson movies.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, November 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 6
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, November 7
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, November 8
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Saturday, November 9
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, November 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, November 12
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 13
Review at Mama's Reading Corner

Thursday, November 14
Interview at Jathan & Heather


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Royal Beauty Bright by Ryan Byrnes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

- Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
- Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
- Only one entry per household.
- All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
- The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Royal Beauty Bright


  1. This sounds like a beautiful story of people helping others. I am looking forward to reading it.


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