Misc. Historical Fiction. · Sagas

The Black Pearl (#5) by Cynthia Harrod Eagles

Out of all of the books so far, I probably enjoyed this one the least.

Now, I’m not saying that it was badly written. It just felt a bit clunky, in comparison with the others. Court life was shown vividly, but I could draw too many comparisons with this book and Forever Amber, which is written similarly and cover practically the same timeline. Also, clubbing Ralph and Annunciata together just seemed like lazy writing at the end of Black Pearl. However, saying that, they were the only characters left alive by the end, or so it would seem. A natural relationship is obvious in that scenario. It didn’t have the same emotional pull as the previous books did, almost killing the characters off just because they were there.

On the other hand, it portrayed the time period of approximately 1660-1666 very vividly, showing the culture of popularity following socialites and monarchs of the time, not unlike what we see in the media today. The book ended with the Great Fire of London so that should be interesting to catch up with in the next book. I won’t let the slightly jarring nature of this book to put me off reading onto future books in the saga.

I believe the black pearl mentioned in the title refers to the black pearls worn by the Morland women. This book seems to delegate frontline roles in the stories to women. Either Harrod Eagles is a feminist or is just trying to change the way we think about historical fiction and gender roles within them.

MY RATING: 3 / 5.


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