Thursday 1 June 2017

Fair Weather by Barbara Gaskell Denvil

Amazon UK £4.08 £12.99
Amazon US $4.96 $17.99
Amazon CA $23.96

Timeslip /Horror
13th Century / Present Day

Fair Weather is a book with a wide and exciting scope. It creates a fascinating time-slip universe which at first seems to simply involve Molly, a modern-day woman, dropping back into the body of Tilda, a Medieval street-urchin - but rapidly becomes something altogether more fantastical.

As Tilda, Molly becomes involved with a charismatic man called Vespasian who seems initially to be something of a Fagin character before we learn more about him and his powers as an alchemist, and are drawn deep into his dark world. As the book moves on and the worlds of King John's time and now begin to collide through a series of vicious murders it also becomes apparent that Molly herself is more than even she knew and that she is at the heart of a clash between the powers of darkness that will bring great danger to herself and those all around her.

The novel is very cleverly conceived and pursues its fantastical conceits in a convincing and exciting way, building to a dramatic centrepiece that had me gripped. The characters are involving and I found it fascinating that modern-day Molly was conscious within the body of young Tilda so that we could enjoy the contrasts between past and present in a very active and open way.

I was drawn into the novel throughout but there were times where the pace flagged a little. Some episodes were overly drawn out and the book seemed to end several times. For me this big story seemed always to be heading somewhere momentous but never quite got there, perhaps because of the movement between time zones at crucial points?

That said, the narrative arc contained style and the various characters came together in a most dramatic and satisfying way.

© Joanna Barnden

[note from Helen: Joanna rarely reads fantasy, so did find the style and plot somewhat unfamiliar to her usual reading taste]

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