Sunday 1 January 2017

ON THE ACCOUNT by Helen Hollick

To launch Discovering Diamonds 
a few reviews for novels written by our main reviewers or admins:

Amazon Universal    £10.99 / £3.99    $14.49 / $5.99

Nautical / Adventure / Saga
18th Century 
England / Other
The Sea Witch Voyages #5

In March 1719, Tiola Oldstagh treks through the English countryside at night. She’s unable to contact Jesamiah and, fearing for his life, she heads for the only man who might help save her husband. But she senses someone follows – Maha’dun, a Night-Walker she once saved from death. He claims to seek the same man, but he’s really tracking a bone-box, in hopes that it will lead him one step closer to The Carver, the man who crafted several such caskets from the bones of slain Night-Walkers. Legend says those who possess one become powerful, and Maha’dun follows Tiola because he thinks she knows where one is. When they reach their destination, the man they seek isn’t at home. Knowing time is running out for her husband, Tiola retraces her steps only to fall and injure herself. While she suffers alone on the moor, Cara’mina, a High-born Night-Walker, blames Tiola for the death of her lover, and her need for vengeance puts her sanity in question. She wants the bone-box Tiola possesses, but all Tiola actually has is a pendant given her by a woman who once owned a box. When Cara’mina insists on learning who and where the woman is, all Tiola says is “Francesca Escudero” and “Bristol” before she passes out.

Jesamiah Acorne awaits trial in Bristol. His friend, Henry Jennings, has offered to help, but Jesamiah neither wants nor needs his kind of help. His schemes and plots are what got Jesamiah into his present predicament – arrested on charges of smuggling and his ship, the Sea Witch, wrecked. Adding to his misery is the possibility that his wife no longer loves him, because ever since his incarceration, he’s been unable to mentally communicate with her. Not that Tiola doesn’t have every right to be angry with him. After all, he did bed another woman and get her with child, even though Francesca denies it’s his. But in spite of this infidelity, he loves Tiola and needs to find her.

Maha’dun finds Tiola on the moor and takes her to her home, where her friends care for her. Being a White Witch, she could heal herself, but only Jesamiah and Maha’dun know what she is. Her one wish is for Maha’dun to go to Bristol and keep Jesamiah safe.

During Jesamiah’s trial, Francesca sweeps into the courtroom and claims to bring a letter from King George for the judge. The contents result in the suspension of the trial, and Jesamiah and his men are released. While he is walking through town with Francesca, she’s murdered by an assassin. Only Jesamiah thinks the blade was actually meant for him – a fact that is reinforced by the discovery of a dead man in Jesamiah’s bed at the inn where he had taken a room.

Maha’dun accompanies Jesamiah on his journey back to Tiola, but it turns out to be more perilous than either man expects. Even after their reunion, Jesamiah and Tiola aren’t safe. Cara’mina still wants vengeance and doesn’t care who dies in the process. Then there are those who seek the power of the bone-box and who wish to manipulate Jesamiah into doing their bidding. Instead, he and Tiola set sail for Spain to find Francesca’s young son– a dying plea from Francesca because Leondro’s name appears on a killing list. But even Spain proves unsafe, for Barbary pirates are raiding coastal towns in search of children to sell into slavery, and Tiola vanishes.

While I like Jesamiah and Tiola, I found Maha’dun the more intriguing character in this tale. I don’t necessarily like everything he does, but he often seems to steal the limelight (so to speak). His character has so much depth and grows so much. In spite of his fears, he ventures into realms that terrorize him and becomes a stronger and far more fascinating character as he does so.

On the Account is the fifth voyage in the Cpt. Jesamiah Acorne series, and it is a complex tale of magic, intrigue, and true love. Hollick has included a map, a diagram of the sails and masts of a square-rigged ship, and a glossary to help readers unfamiliar with ships and sailing. Some people may find several scenes too brutal and a few physical relationships may not be to everyone’s taste, but Hollick weaves a spine-tingling story that compels readers to keep turning pages rather than putting the book aside. Readers experience a whirlwind of emotions, from devastating sadness to bright hopefulness. Final farewells are said to characters who have been part of Jesamiah’s life for several books. But that is part of real life, which makes even the unbelievable possible as you read On the Account.

©2016 Cindy Vallar
(Genuine independent review)
< ... next


  1. I'm willing to bet that you know how many of these I had waiting in my Inbox this morning. LOL

    I'll have to start with book one, of course. I prefer reading them in order.

    1. Only one a day from now on -a good way to get a new review blog launched though eh?
      Start the series with Sea Witch...


We do not accept comments. If you need to contact Discovering Diamonds go to the CONTACT facility

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.