Misc. Historical Fiction. · Sagas · Sequels

The Tangled Thread by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. (#10)

“He thought of peaches, and wished he could have one, taste one for the last time,”

Another offering from Eagles. This is turning out to be a dependable historical saga, which I have really liked so far.

This story is bursting full of history. It covers the time period of 1788-1794. As this series enters the 19th century, it becomes more familiar to those fiction fanatics who read Regency romantic authors with fervour. There are many plot arcs this time, all handled well – a girl running away to sea to be a ship surgeon, The Terror, treason etc. And of course, the stuff of Eagles’ books which makes them so lifelike – the inevitable stream of weddings, deaths, babies, engagements and courtships.

I really wasn’t sure whether I would like this book or not. It isn’t the best one in the series so far, but it is very vivid and is well-written like the others (save a few.) It also effortlessly manages to still include links to earlier books. In a way, this makes me a bit sad, just because it is a realistic family history that depletes further into the past as each book reaches its end. I really care about the characters in these books – probably a bit too much, but hey, I like historical fiction if its done well.

Over all, a good read. I’m probably a 1/3 of the way through the saga and it hasn’t disappointed me overtly yet. The only thing that had me thrown was when they talked about 14-year-olds taking control of vast estates or escaping onboard ships. Maybe young people then had far more to contend with then than we do now? The characters were generally likeable if they had to be, although Heloise’s husband Olivier was hateful and it seemed like an almost soapish twist of fate when he turns up shortly before she is supposed to marry somebody else. Not forgetting that he was supposed to have been executed for treason during the Terror…

It also links up the fate of Annunciata’s daughter Arabella so its always good to know that she didn’t just vanish into thin air.

MY RATING: ***.5 / *****

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