Posts Tagged ‘Historical Fiction’

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

August 30, 2018 - 6:53 pm No Comments

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

Published by Canongate Books on 30th August 2018

417 pages

Will Raven was going places, apprentice to the renowned Dr Simpson, he was learning midwifery from one of the best. But with a debt hanging over him and a desire to find out who is killing women all over Edinburgh, can Will be the Dr he wants to be.
At the start of this story Will Raven came across as quite pretentious. Quick with his mouth and never far from trouble. He always had something to prove, however as the story progress, you do get to find out more about his former life. By the end of the book he grew on me.
Sarah his partner in crime, was the housemaid of Dr Simpson. Like any maid in the 19th century maids were tended be ignored and women were second best. Throughout this book you could see how ambitious she was and if she was a women today she would of been a doctor, Clever, willing to learn and a very curious mind
I enjoy reading about 19th century and it was a pleasant change for a story to be set in Edinburgh and not London. The book was well researched and it was interesting to learn more about the medical procedures of the time. Whilst child birth was dangerous at that time, reading about it in graphic detail, just made it more real. Whilst this is a thriller it is a bit of a slow burn and it felt more like a backstory, that all changed in the last 25% of the book. As Will and Sarah were getting closer to the murderer it was full on and I was reading it quickly to find out who the murderer was. I enjoy a thriller more if the murderer is not easily guessed and this was one of those books. The ending was not expected and it showed just what type of people Dr Simpson and Will were.
This will be good to read as a series and I for one would love to read more about Will and Sarah.

 

 

 

 

 

The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola

July 25, 2018 - 10:02 pm No Comments

The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola
Published by Tinder Press on 26th July 2018
352 pages

In 19th century Great Britain folklore was popular especially with the working class. Everyone would gather together to listen and swap stories. Each part of the country had variant stories and the task of collecting such stories were down to a small select few called folklorist.
Audrey Hart grew up listening to these stories. Unhappy with her life in London, she jumped at the chance to go to the Isle of Skye and help collect the traditional stories. As Audrey starts to collect the stories, she hears about the missing girls and when one turns up dead, she wants to find out whether it is the faerie folk or a resident of the Isle.
Lately I have read quite a few historical fiction, one thing they all had in common was the thriller element and this one was no different. However the addition of the folklore made the story more fascinating. Audrey was not your typical woman of that time, single, headstrong and ambitious. Travelling by herself to the Isle of Skye was brave.
Reading this story you can see that it was well researched not just the historical element but the folklore as well. The descriptive style of the author’s writers made the scenes come alive and it felt that you were there watching the mist roll in, whilst the mystery unfolded. The story never seemed to slow down as there was always something going on, whether it was Audrey walking around the countryside collecting stories, or her trying to fight for the girls. Whilst I had an inkling of the culprit, the reasoning surprised me. Whether you are a lover of historical fiction or are fascinated with folklore you will be in for a magical read.

The Bohemian Incident by Thomas Arnfelt

July 9, 2018 - 8:22 pm No Comments

The Bohemian Incident by Thomas Arnfelt
Published by Undrentide on 25th April 2018
286 pages

In 17th century Europe, religion was still a big thing and priests would travel spreading the word. But when a group of Jesuits disappear in Bohemia, the Vatican call on the assistance of Maximillian to find out what happened.
Maximillian was man of mystery and whilst he was not liked by certain people. I took to the him straight away as usually this type of character comes across as pretentious and arrogant, whilst Maximillian was good at his job, he did this more from being observant and courteous to others. As you read the story, more of Maximillian’s past comes to light and explains why he haunted by his dreams.
It took me a couple of pages to get into the story, as it was quite a slow start, but as soon as Maximillian got into the village, I really got into the story. The diary extract from the person behind the disappearances, broke the story up and gave it a thriller feel to it. With only a handful of characters, you learn about each one in detail and whilst there was. Set in the 17th century witchcraft was rife and whilst the scenes where not graphic the author gave these scenes a sinister feel. Elsa and Bertuccio were two of my favourite characters both servants, but both having as important roles to play as the other characters.
Thanks to the authors research I learnt something new as I did not know much about the 17th century and this is one pleasure in reading books. The is a steady story that will keep your attention and I will leave you with one word of advice “ That no wine is worth pouring out unless it really is poisoned. But that is seldom something you will notice until it’s too late and then you might as well drink it anyway”

Gideon’s Passage by Ben Laffra

January 30, 2018 - 9:29 pm No Comments

Gideon’s Passage by Ben Laffra
Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing LLC on 10 October 2016
435 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Being a fan of Horror, I have purchased a lot of books from Optimus Maximus Publishing and can always guarantee a good read. Knowing that the publishers always sign great authors I purchased Gideon’s Passage without hesitation. Not having read much historical fiction, I did not know what to expect, however I was up for the challenge.
We are first introduced to Gideon Roland de Boyne when he is studying at the University City of Orleans in France, a son of a renowned business man, he was a man of learning. Keeping with family tradition, he finished his studies and enlisted with The Knights of St John. Progressing through the ranks he is sent to battle against the Ottoman, a mighty force that are taken over Europe.
The story tracks Gideon’s life and it shows how he grows into an honourable man. He treated every man equal regardless of rank or the colour of their skin, this caused everyone he meets to love and admire him. He was willing to pass on his knowledge and learn from others and even when he engaged with the enemy, his diplomatic nature saved numerous lives. However, whilst he had an easy-going nature, he did not take to fools and would not waste his energy with them.
Throughout Gideon’s life he encounters 3 strong female characters, each very different but all of them add to Gideon’s life and his is love of learning. Catherine, his first love in France, a woman of dual nationality, who helps him understand more about the Ottoman. Gonul Femi, the doctor employed by the Ottoman not only saved his life but helped him understand and learn the Persian language and finally Marina di Andrea Gamba who was not afraid to fight.
Even the minor characters played a big part in this story and I enjoyed reading about Daniel Nourtie, a giant of man, a regular soldier who became a good friend of Gideon.
Whilst reading this story, I learnt so much about the 16th Century, an era that I hardly knew. The story is well researched, and I wanted to learn more. This book was full of passion whether it be a sex scene or a battle scene, with the minutest detail added to make an exciting story. I actually delayed finishing this book as I did not want the adventure to end, I just wanted to carry on reading and if it was a further 435 pages I would not have minded as the story sucked you in. This is the first novel I have read by this author, but it will not be last as I can carry on reading about Gideon. This definition of a wordsmith is a skilled user of words, but if you look further down the definition you will find Ben Laffra’s name there. This is author has helped me love historical fiction