“There will be no more kings…that world has gone forever, and you and I will be strangers in the new one,”
I liked this one better than The Long Shadow. But then I would like a maths exam more than a Long Shadow. So there’s that.
This book covers the time period of 1689-1717. Annunciata is still alive and in the centre of things but luckily not as much as in the previous book. There are still many plot threads but primarily the main story that occupies the book is the marriage of James Matthias ‘Matt’ Moreland to the beautiful and calculating India Neville. He blindly adores her and she in her turn betrays him and breaks his heart.
Usually, the books aren’t inadvertantly funny but with this book it was given the chance to inject some funny moments in, such as when a man under trial for treason has to escape – it seems, in the most comical manner possible.
And the characterization of the evil India Neville was rather middling. She was evil and cruel towards Matt and by betraying his trust she deserved her comeuppance, and you can’t really sympathize with her at all. The moment of realization in the book was rather darkly amusing though.
Some of the threads of the story were somewhat confusing and I didn’t know anything about the Scottish history side of it. Fires, plagues and sieges are also an author’s best friend when it comes to killing characters off. I also really wanted to know what happened to Annunciata’s daughter Arabella who was exiled, and the branch of the Moreland family who went to go and live in Philadelphia.
This book also pays homage to the original story of Robert Moreland and Eleanor Courtenay and this was done well, blending mention of the original story in as the characters speak of them. I feel like I’ve already journeyed far in this family story but I’ve still got a long way to go.
MY RATING: 3 / 5.