“The white hare would leap for ever, and never grow old and never die,”
I was intrigued by this series, because it is a saga spanning over 40 books – covering the period 1440 until 1929 (I believe.).
Well, I have only read the works of Elizabeth Chadwick when it comes to Medieval fiction. To be a good historical fiction author you must have a master of your facts as well as your characters. The ability to combine both makes the author a master, and the characters believable. I am very surprised to say this, but Harrod-Eagles does this perfectly with her book.
I expected a stilted Historical novel with unlikable, wooden characters but what I got is a well-rounded story with interesting characters and a varied plot, which added richness to the historical facts that we are often forced to digest via documentary or school history lesson.
The basic story is that of a young woman called Eleanor Courtenay who has to get married to asheep farmer, Robert Morland. Throughout the story we see the highs and the lows, the births and the deaths and the inevitable splatter of war and strife that is almost a given in Medieval fiction.
The reader must go on a journey with Eleanor as she endures all that life throws at her, and when she inevitably grows and develops as a character, the audience are witness to that as well. She even learns from mistakes that she makes, especially in her own life that she regrets years later.
A fantastic book, I will be looking out for the second book: The Dark Rose, when I go to the library tomorrow. There are over 30 books in this series and I know that family sagas aren’t for everyone. They are incredibly complex because as a writer you have to keep the relationships between the characters strong enough to be believable.
I discovered this series about a month ago, but to fully understand the story it is probably best to read them from book #1 to avoid confusion.
Have you read any good historical fiction books recently?