Friday, 30 June 2017

Flowers of Flanders by Ros Rendle

Amazon UK £2.25
Amazon US $2.90
Amazon CA N/A

Fictional Saga
Manchester / Flanders

Book 1 'The Strong Sisters' trilogy

“Rose rivals her beautiful, mercurial sister for Michael’s love but calculated lies and misunderstandings alter the young peoples’ course. War breaks and Michael is as eager as the others to go. Maybe Rose will settle for second best with Thom even though she cannot get Michael out of her soul.
Does a man need the grace of serenity to rediscover his own or is it frivolity and seduction he craves when he has been through the darkest places of war? Michael’s experiences in the trenches gradually alter his perceptions.
This is a story about deceit and loyalties, complex relationships and loves developing from youth to adulthood during a cataclysmic time in history.”

An entrancing story about three sisters, Delphine, Rose and Iris Stone, and the changing of life, expectations, traditions and attitudes because of the event that was the Great War.

Set in Manchester and Flanders, perhaps a little Downton Abbey-esq (but so what!) in that this is the story of a well-to-do family and their lives, loves, disappointments, hopes and fears before and during  the years of WW I.

Typical of the era, and their class, they have little to do in the daily round of life. Their expectations are to marry well, apart from Rose, who wants to go to University. Then war comes. Their friend, Michael Redfern, enlists and along with the Manchester Pals is sent to the trenches.

Flowers of Flanders is well researched and is a nicely told tale, giving an absorbing view of both sides of life in the war period – the gentile well-off almost cushioned life of those at home, and the horror of the war and the trenches for those at the Front. It is a highly poignant tale of young people making their way through life, facing the pleasant and the unpleasant, from love to heartbreak with everything else that life chucks at you in between.

The novel sets the scene well as the first of what promises to be an enjoyable trilogy.

A good, enjoyable read

© Anne Holt

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Discovering Diamonds review of: Queen of Trial and Sorrow by Susan Appleyard

Amazon UK £4.65
Amazon US $5.99

Biographical Fiction 
15th Century

“The story of Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of King Edward IV and the mother of the Princes in the Tower. As an impoverished widow, she was wooed and won by the handsome young king and believed her dreams had come true. But she was soon swept up in the War of the Roses, enduring hardship and danger as her husband struggled to keep his throne. When he died Elizabeth was unable to protect her family against the ruthless ambitions of the man he trusted above all others. It was the king's brothers, the unstable Duke of Clarence and the loyal Duke of Gloucester, who would prove to be Elizabeth's most dangerous enemies.”

An enjoyable read, although it did require a little concentration as it is told first person from the point-of-view of Elizabeth Woodville herself, which sometimes made me feel as if I were listening to one-person self-portrait, a little ‘me, me, me’. That said, it made a nice change to read something that had a different slant to a well-known period of events, and a different way of looking at Elizabeth’s emotions as her story – and her life – unfolds in all its joys and tragedies, through her love, her hope, her ambition – and her grief. There is joy and sadness here, every-day, life and Court intrigue.

Perhaps at times the author’s knowledge and research is a little too much to the fore? The scenes and the lifestyle were highly evocative – and interesting – but sometimes just a little overdone as they stumbled the story itself.

However, this was a fascinating account, which lovers of this era should enjoy.

© Anne Holt

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson

Amazon UK £3.49 / £7.99
Amazon US $10.18
Amazon CA $11.99 / $15.04

Fictional Biography
England / Wales

First of the Tudors is the opening of a series which promises to look a cracking good one!

Who knows anything about Jasper Tudor? I certainly did not!
The son of Queen Catherine and Owen Tudor, her second husband, Jasper and his brother, Edmund are to go to London, summoned by their half-brother, King Henry VI.

They receive earldoms and the wardship of the heiress, young Margaret Beaufort. Becoming devoted to the child, Jasper is devastated when he discovers that she is to marry Edmund. He seeks solace elsewhere, but passion is never an easy companion.

Overshadowed by the more well-known of the Tudors Jasper Tudor has always been side-lined in history and in historical fiction, yet it was he who was to be charged with the protection of his nephew, the son of Edmund and Margaret Beaufort - Henry Tudor.

Joanna Hickson has the ability to bring history alive in a readable and intelligent style, her characters have depth and warmth, with the story itself unravelling in a most pleasing and enjoyable way. She captures a sense of place, time, intrigue, romance and the lust for power – and the trouble all these things bring – in a very talented written and enjoyable novel.

I look forward to the next instalment.

© Ellen Hill

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Dust of Ancients by Terri Nixon

Amazon UK £0.99 £10.00
Amazon US £1.19 $15.00
Amazon CA $19.71

Timeslip / Mystery
Cornwall, England

(The Lynher Mill Chronicles Book 1)

“A curse uttered in the extremity of terror and death can reverberate for centuries. When the means to bring that curse to fruition are suddenly within reach, the innocents must look to their past to protect their future ... and their past wants no part of it. 

Richard Lucas has been plagued by vivid and disturbing dreams since the death of his wife eleven years ago, and, desperate to get his life back on track, he is persuaded by his best friend Dean to take a sabbatical. But when he arrives in Dean’s home village of Lynher Mill he discovers that, not only is Dean not who he seems, but that he himself is bound more tightly to the Cornish moorlands than he could have imagined. And far more deeply than he would ever want to be.

As the events that began to shape his life over three thousand years ago continue their steady, unstoppable march towards a terrifying conclusion, Richard discovers the truth about his connection to the moor, and eventually has to do battle with his own history just to survive. Those who love him struggle with conflicting loyalties and come to realise that, if the land itself is to endure, they must make some devastating decisions.”

A fabulous story, drenched in atmosphere and one of those rare tales that suck you in from line one all the way through to the end.

As a fantasy tale, belief has to be suspended from the outset, but the trick of a good book – and this is a very good book – is for the reader to become completely unaware that this is fantasy, and believe every word – no matter how fantastic!

The sense of place, the desolate moors, and the legends and mysteries of Cornwall transported me to that world of imagination as easily as stepping on to a bus or train, no matter that the landscape and cities (Plymouth in particular!) were, in this novel, steeped in make-believe, the narrative was absorbing, realistic and one-hundred percent enjoyable entertainment.

Add to all that, Ms Nixon’s entire concept is something a little different, and most refreshing.

It is always a pleasure to 'discover' a new author - and excellent storytellers - to read, and I am delighted that Discovering Diamonds is fulfilling the intended job of doing just that! 

Unputdownable. Entertaining. Fabulous. I must read book two….

© Anne Holt

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Monday, 26 June 2017

The Beekeeper's Daughter by Jane Jordan

Amazon UK £3.23 / £13.49
Amazon US $4.20 / $16.84
Amazon CA $5.39 / $23.06

This title was shortlisted for the June Book of the Month

Romance / Family Drama / Witchcraft
19th Century
Exmoor, Devon

Well, set on Exmoor, of course I had to read this one! 

The beekeeper’s daughter, Annabel, and the blacksmith’s son, Jevan, have a deep, almost obsessed, bond as teenagers. They are wild and impulsive, as you would expect from Annabel, who is the daughter of a witch. She has control over the bees, the weather, and feels deep betrayal when Jevan leaves for schooling in London.

When he returns, several years later, the heir to a local powerful family is courting Annabel – and then the trouble really begins!

The story has unsettling darkness, and the ‘witchcraft’ of Annabel’s connection with the bees is as much a part of the story as her relationship with Jevan. There is romance, mystery, and the occult alongside a battle of wills and supernatural forces. Add to that, the characters are vivid, flawed individuals who are victims of the Darkness of Evil, but they are also heroes – although to say more will give spoilers, if you are Ok with the supernatural element - read this one, but probably not a novel for those who prefer their romance as a light read. For those who like something more gritty, however…

© Helen Hollick

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

It's the last weekend in June

no reviews today - but how about visiting our 
Reader's Voice Page?

This month:

Fact v Fiction - is accuracy in historical novels essential? Have YOUR say! click here:

Did you miss?

our Guest Spot?

Alison Morton's fine tribute to Lindsey Davis, 
author of the Falco series

click here

more reviews on Monday!

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Sisters of St Croix by Diney Costloe

Amazon UK £3.85 / £15.90
Amazon US $4.70 / $5.96
Amazon CA $0.99 / $4.27

family drama 

Occupied France. A group of nuns assist the resistance to smuggle Jews and British Airmen out of France, mindful of the power and menace of the Nazis.

There is a background of secrets and spies running through this tale of wartime good v evil. There is tension and excitement, deceptions and collaborations – perhaps not a unique plot, certainly not a new idea but so what? This is a gripping story of courage and determination in the face of adversity and cruelty. A story to become engrossed in while on that long holiday flight, or sunning on the beach.

© Ellen Hill

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Fire and Sword by Harry Sidebottom

Throne of the Caesars: Book 3

Amazon UK £5.99 / £5.99 /£14.03
Amazon US $6.05 / $18.27
Amazon CA $20.69

238 AD
Ancient Rome


The Roman Empire has fallen into chaos. The Emperor and his son are dead, and former Emperor, Maximinus Thrax, hopes to reclaim his rightful position, but the Senators are more interested in saving their own skins should Maximus succeed.

This was a violent and bloody period of Rome’s history, a period and situation which is reflected in this novel, which is impeccably researched. 

As the third in a series, although a stand-alone novel, I would suggest you start at the beginning to maximise enjoyment of this author’s wonderful talent as a writer, and involvement as a reader with the well portrayed characters and events.

A definite for Roman History lovers!

© Anne Holt

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Body in the Ice by A J MacKenzie

Amazon UK £6.47 / £18.95
Amazon US $8.31 / $23.95
Amazon CA $9.99 / $31.95

Mystery / Thriller
Romney Marsh, Kent

(A Hardcastle and Chaytor Mystery)

The marsh village of Hope had once been a thriving community, but plague has devastated its existence. All that is left is a ruined church – and now at Christrmas-tide, a dead body found in the frozen ice - murdered by a blow to the head. Flickering lanterns illuminate a pool of blood, the jewelled buttons on the corpse’s waistcoat and his expensive watch fob. Found by a boy, was the corpse killed at the old church, or does his death have something to do with the Romney Marsh smugglers?

Justice of the peace for St Mary in the Marsh, the Reverend Hardcastle, has to investigate what is obviously a callous murder, but it seems he has an impossible task ahead of him. His friend, Amelia Chaytor, is there to help him solve the riddle, and along with a new arrival, Captain Edward Austen, it soon becomes apparent that there is more here to solve than was first thought...

The plot of this gripping tale thickens with an American family desperate to take possession of their ancestral home, a French spy, and secrets and revenge all adding to this intriguing mystery.
To say more will spoil a riveting and most exciting read ...

© Ellen Hill

Note: there were a few editing issues with the edition reviewed. Possibly #DDRevs had an ARC  edition though, where errors do often occur prior to full publication.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Shadow Queen by Anne O'Brien

Amazon UK £6.99 / £8.16
Amazon US $9.81 / $14.39
Amazon CA $19.59

Biographical fiction
14th century

This is a story of love, loyalty, and of families grasping at anything for the gain of power, no matter what stands in the way. It is also the story, so very well written, of the mother of Richard II, a beautiful girl who pays the price of high ambition.

Joan of Kent, a minor royal, is little known outside of those who study this period of history, I had no idea of anything about her. Her love for a minor knight was doomed from the outset – for the reader, a train-crash waiting to happen. Her life in this excellent novel is beautifully written with impeccable research and true feeling. The story and the characters come vividly alive as a romance, as an adventure and as the plotting and scheming that enshrined nearly every era of royal intrigue.

Joan, here, knows her own mind. She is the feisty heroine, the shrewd woman who refuses to be controlled.

The book is hard to put down, it takes you to the world of knights and jousts and to a woman who really ought to be far more well known in history and historical fiction!

Highly recommended

© Ellen Hill

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Eva's Secret by Emily Cotton

Amazon UK £11.85
Amazon US $3.12
Amazon CA $3.94

Family Drama (slight fantasy element)
16th Century

I must admit that initially, I was somewhat hesitant to this book – having a cat as a POV character was not something I felt entirely comfortable with. Likewise, the formatting and editing could do with a brush-up and in the first few chapters the here and now was interrupted by flashbacks that could have been woven more seamlessly into the narrative.

But by then, of course, I was already hooked by the story of Eva de Paiza, her cat Tabita and the complexities of surviving in early 16th century Granada when your father has just been dragged off by the Inquisition.

Rarely have I read a book that so utterly transports me back to the time depicted. Clothes, furnishings, food, medicinal treatments – all has been so meticulously researched, all is so elegantly inserted in the narrative. Granada is just a few decades away from its recent Moorish past, and the city is a polyglot mix of Saracens and Jews (albeit that all of them officially are Catholic), good loyal Spanish Christians and the odd smattering of others. Arabic is still spoken, those that work in trade are generally bilingual, and even the various faiths have rubbed along—albeit uneasily—until the Inquisition decides enough is enough: false converts must be punished. 

Add to this Eva’s own sad story: her father is a brute, her mother fled the home when Eva was eight or so, and now, as a consequence of her father’s imprisonment, Eva is lured into a house where she finds herself reduced to being a slave, a chattel for sale. 

All of this drama could have resulted in a sturm-unt-drang pastiche, but Eva’s own personality—mild, meek and somewhat naïve—keeps the narrative firmly on the ground. Eva is no feisty heroine intent on kicking off the traces of her slavery. No, Eva is a very young woman who bears things and makes the best of what she has, praying that God will see her safe. 

Eva’s Secret is a love story, and accordingly there is not one protagonist, but two (plus the cat). Baseel is the Saracen in charge of managing the day-to-day business of the merchant who has enslaved Eva. He is a devout Muslim, disfigured by childhood disease, and alternates between being harsh and aloof and warm and caring—although this latter side he reserves for Eva only. Not that Eva notices—at least not initially. Her childhood experiences have made her wary of all men, and besides, Baseel is a Muslim, while Eva’s dream has always been to become a nun. Not the most auspicious of circumstances, one could say…

Two wonderfully depicted characters in a vibrant historical setting makes Eva’s Secret a delightful read. Even Tabita the cat grows on me, albeit that I did have some problems with this feline’s spiritual experiences. No matter: all in all, Ms Cotton has delivered an engaging story set in a tumultuous time and a somewhat exotic setting. 
Warmly recommended!

© Anna Belfrage

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Friday, 16 June 2017

Red Horse by M J Logue

Red Horse by M J Logue 

Amazon UK  £2.40  £7.99
Amazon US $2.95 / $12.99
Amazon CA $3.98 / $16.79

This title was shortlisted for the June Book of the Month

English Civil War

It is 1642, and England is hovering on the brink of civil war. As yet, no major battles have been fought, but the armies are drawn up, the King has raised his colours and called to arms. The Parliamentarian Army under the Earl of Essex is a motley lot, an uneasy partnering of men who burn for the cause and a rabble of mercenaries, most of them veterans of the Thirty Years' War.

Hollie Babbitt is one such veteran. Uncouth and bedraggled, this red-haired captain does not at all live up to Lucifer Petitt's expectations of an officer, and this young man can't help but wonder why his uncle the Earl of Essex has chosen to place him under Babbitt’s command. Some sort of punishment?

Babbitt wonders the same: why has he been saddled with Luce and what exactly is that prat Essex playing at?

So opens a story of soldiers and war, of understated bravery and loyalty among friends. All of this against the murky political waters of the times, at times utterly incomprehensible to those taxed with navigating through them. 

After the battle of Edgehill, things change. Where before the men in the Parliamentarian Army were there just as much by chance as by conviction, the carnage of Edgehill hardens them. Babbitt loses his best friend at Edgehill. From that moment on, the war becomes personal – on the surface, Captain Babbitt fights for money, but within he screams for vengeance. 

On the surface of things, Red Horse is a novel about the dirty and sordid matter of war. Men die, men are wounded; the rain pours down in buckets leaving everyone dirtier and muddier and sick and with festering wounds and with holes in their stockings and lice in their hair – in general, not the chirpiest of settings. The men are often cold and hungry, just as often scared and angry, and more or less constantly confused. 

Not only does M J Logue present us with a detailed and tangible setting, she also parades quite the cast of characters before the reader, first and foremost Hollie Babbitt and his troop of scruffy, battle-hardened men, troopers who mostly don’t care who wins as long as they survive.

Many people have written books about war, about comrades-in-arms who stick together through thick and thin. What makes Red Horse so universally appealing is the other story, the one hidden within, so to say. That story is about loneliness, about the abject despair of having no family, no home, no-one who truly cares if you live or die. It is about being utterly alone despite the press of men around you, of living in an emotional vacuum that is so unbearable you no longer feel as if you exist. Hollie Babbitt is one such damaged man, and the way in which M J Logue depicts his situation is all the more effective for being so unsentimental. As I turn the pages, Hollie Babbitt not only takes on shape and colour, but he also becomes a person I develop strong protective feelings for – which he hates, just as he has problems accepting Luce’s compassion and genuine concern for him. 

My only gripe with this book is the recurring head-hopping – it distracts from the story and is an unnecessary beauty spot on this otherwise excellent read. Still, M J Logue’s writing is somewhat addictive, which is why the next books in the series are already on my Kindle! 

© Anna Belfrage

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

Amazon UK £7.99 /£10.49
Amazon US $ 17.36
Amazon CA $ 27.99 / $12.99

Fictional Drama / Witchcraft

Alice Hopkins is the sister to Matthew Hopkins, who lives in the small Essex village of Manningtree. When her husband dies, pregnant and penniless she returns to live with Matthew, but he has changed and there are rumours of witchcraft abroad. He is amassing the names of suspected women in a book that he is diligently keeping…

This is a beautifully written story which sheds light on the many different faces of human nature, particularly where the superstition of witchcraft is involved. Matthew is certain that what he is doing – exposing the evilness of witches – is the right thing to do, yet there is also the horror of innocent women being victimised through his manic obsession.

The novel includes the unsavoury side of exposing witches, their interrogation and torture, the terror that lonely old women were forced to endure.

I admit that I found the novel unsettling, but this is because it is so well, and vividly, written. The gloom of the era, Matthew’s obsession and the horror these poor women suffered is so completely believably written that I felt like a fly on the wall witnessing their suffering.

England was still in the grip of Civil War, suspicion and superstition was rife, distrust and hostility ruled, with blame for things that went wrong all too easily laid at the feet of others. A sad, sorry period of our past, the novel expertly portrays the fear, the anxiety, the malice and the downright cruelty – but it all happened, even if it was, to our eyes now, shameful and abhorrent. But for all that, read the novel; we owe it to those women to remember them as it was, not as the modern hook-nosed broomstick-riding women cackling beneath a black pointy hat and a spider dangling from her chin.

© Helen Hollick

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Local Resistance by J.G.Harlond

Amazon UK £4.51 $15.00
Amazon US $5.54 $18.50
Amazon CA $20.35

This title was selected as the June Book of the Month

Cornwall, England

I'm not drawn to World War II stories, but I did very much enjoy this one. The story is set in a sleepy Cornish fishing village where the locals have long memories and resent intruders into their world. They know the war is happening around them and they are thankful that its effects on them are far less severe than other places nearby. For them it is rationing and the transferal of the village's big house into a school that are the most noticeable alterations, but a stoic lot, they manage, looking after each other.

And then things start to go wrong. A local man goes inexplicably missing without a trace and an odd little spinster moves in to a house that everyone is sure would never be sold out of the family or even rented. The outsider who enforces the rationing rules is viewed with deep suspicion by some, sheer hatred by others. And a foreign young man is found in a wood.

Bob Robbins comes out of retirement to join the police force and is assigned the task of finding out what happened to the missing man, Stan Hawkins. Along the way he trips over conspiracies and things that don't add up, people withholding information more than they would usually for a small community wary of outsiders. What does Hawkin's disappearance have to do with missing vegetables and stolen water, an assault on a local woman and two murders?

I wasn't convinced that I would enjoy this novel as WWII is just not my era but I really did. It is an involving story with some great characters. Bob Robbins is a wonderful policeman who knows his job, but has several dimensions that gradually come out to add nuances to him and his actions, his thoughts and his interactions with others. He is not a parody or a cardboard cut-out detective. He is very likeable, and of course you are willing him on from the start.

The story itself is well crafted and details never go astray. So well crafted that even at the end you just don't quite know what is going on and some mysteries will just never be solved. That it is based on a series of actual happenings makes the story all the more eye-opening. It is a grand portrayal of small village life, the goings-on of generations ago that still affect the living as if they happened yesterday, the closing ranks, everyone knowing everyone's business, and strong sense of a community that manages quite well without interference, thank you very much. 

Down to earth and sensible, no hysterics, few dramatics, and a delightful old biddy who you just can't bring yourself to condemn. A very good read.

Five stars. Can't criticise a single thing.

© Nicky Galliers

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Discovering Diamonds review of: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlop by Paulette Mauhurin

Amazon UK £9.57 £2.32
Amazon US $3.00 $14.95
Amazon CA $20.14

LGBT / Family Drama

"The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; the United States expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine to cover South America; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde's imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing."

What a good concept - a female Brokeback Mountain and all merged in with the news of the Oscar Wilde Trial. Original. Clever. 

Mildred is a landowner in the mid-west and quietly wealthy, kind to her community and living with a girl who everyone assumes is her companion. But Mildred is strange and strange isn't good in a small town - and then she is rich - so she is disliked and raises hackles. The Wilde scandal raises her fears and she looks to marry a man and put the town off her trail but it only makes matters worse as jealously and spite arise - and so now Mildred lives in fear of being torched-out. Will she run? Will she stay? There's a touch of Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar about this - only perhaps without the pace. 

A different book - with everything going for it - only the women's affair is revealed very early and we could have a slower build-up so the lack of pace. And do we believe that a town would get so full of hate over a marriage? Much opportunity for tension is lost and where we expect a march on the house - well, no spoilers. There is also a lot of political correctness here - down to Dreyfuss getting a mention and would a small town really have been that aware? May well be wrong and stand corrected. 

This might do well in a LGBT bookstore as it has such potential but the mechanics of the plot do lose a bit of impetus to keep the reader engaged. 

For all that, an interesting read.

© Jeffrey Manton

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Catfish Pearl by Ruth Francisco

Amazon UK £2.31 £9.62
Amazon US $2.98 $11.99

Coming of Age / American Settlement / Nautical
17th century
North America

Savagely taken from her mother’s womb during a 1665 Apalachee raid in La Florida, Luisa grows up more like her adopted brothers than a female of the tribe. At twelve years of age, her tomboyish stunts and aptitude for numbers convince Fray Tomás that she should learn the ways of the Spaniards, to be a proper lady. Her latest stunt, revealed by her jealous cousin, goes too far beyond the proprieties of the Apalachee, and her father sends her away from the tribe to do the bidding of a vicious Spanish woman. Forbidden to use her Indian name, Luisa equates her punishment to slavery.

When news arrives of her favorite brother’s impending nuptials, Luisa secures permission to attend. She arrives too late to travel with her family and must make her own way to the bride’s village. A third tribe attacks, her father and many others are killed, and she is among the captives who are traded to an Englishman for weapons.

Taken to the Carolinas, Luisa is sold into slavery. During the auction a bidding war pits her new master against another man, who wants to sell her to a Jamaican brothel. Luisa’s only hope is to escape, but her family is gone. She has no village to return to. The troubles between the various tribes, inflamed by both the English and the Spanish, make La Florida a dangerous destination. And the loser of the slave auction is a determined man, who will do whatever he must to own her, no matter how long it takes.

The multiple points of view and numerous subplots – some of which are left unresolved because they will be dealt with in future stories about Luisa – make this a long book, but the author’s purpose is to show Luisa’s natural progression from being raised among the Apalachee to becoming a pirate. She admirably achieves this goal, although a few switches of perspective are a bit jarring and some storylines could have waited until later books. There are a few formatting issues, such as extra spaces within words, but Luisa is a compelling character and the story engages the reader, rarely loosening its grip until the last page is turned.

Told from a variety of perspectives – principally those of Luisa, Fray Tomás (a Franciscan missionary), and Henry Woodard (an English surgeon turned trader) – Catfish Pearl is a story of greed, ambition, faith, jealousy, treachery, growing up, and adapting to what life throws at you.

Set during a brutal period when Spain and England use the native peoples to gain footholds in the New World. While the language is at times raunchy and character actions shock modern sensitivities, Francisco portrays them realistically in a vividly recreated period in Florida’s history.


Review Copyrighted ©2017 by Cindy Vallar

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

It's the Second Weekend in June

No reviews on a weekend

WHAT NOVEL has been selected for the
click here to find out!

 a personal choice by  Helen Hollick
founder of Discovering Diamonds

All books selected will automatically be short-listed for our 

(to be revealed 31st December 2017)

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