Friday 6 July 2018

The Distant Hills by Judith Thomson

AMAZON US $14.18

Fictional Saga
France and England

In this, the fourth in the series of the adventures of Philip Devall and his brother-in-law Giles Fairfax, Philip is the centre of attention – something that he likes very much. Trusted servant of King William III, he is also a personal friend of wily old Louis XIV – the Sun King. But someone wants Philip dead and a man in such an invidious and dangerous position has many enemies – perhaps within one of the two royal houses …

Philip is a bit of a cavalier, in more than one sense of the word; he is a dandy, dashing and handsome with more than an eye for the ladies in his chequered past, though he is now devoted to his wife Theresa and their daughter, Maudie. Brave and strong, quick thinking and possessed of a ready wit, he is more than aware of his assets and you cannot help but like him. Indeed, his wife and servants are devoted to him.

Giles, on the other hand, is far more complex. Once he had been a slave trader; following a disastrous defeat during Monmouth's rebellion, he bears an ugly scar of which he is more than self-conscious. Yet his cynicism and reluctance to become involved in Philip's schemes is the perfect foil devil-may-care attitude to life.

I very much enjoyed this story; the action is non-stop, some notable cameos (as there were in the previous book in the series), magnificent descriptions of  Louis' fabulous Palace of Versaille and some new secrets about Philip are revealed together with an ending that promises further volumes in the series. Nice cover, too.

As with all such series, this can be read as a stand-alone although it is always best to read the other volumes to understand the back-story.

Well recommended!

© Richard Tearle

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1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with your review of Philip and Giles, and this writer certainly does makes you feel like you are actually living in that period! I have read all the series from Judith Thomson, she is a talented writer, I agree she is a Diamond!


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