In this 3 story gap filler, the author is setting the stage for the big confrontation between Caesar and Vercingetorix. It is a very nice appetite whetting segue and includes some (to be expected) twists as well as tying up a loose end in the Milo/Clodius situation. I read this in one sitting and while that points to the author’s ability to grab my attention, it also means I have to wait longer for the next full volume in this most excellent series. Next up – Winner Takes Gaul.
Having read and enjoyed Martin’s series on The Lost King I was more than happy when he asked me to take on A Love Most Dangerous. This despite the fact that most of the historical fiction I read involves the clash of arms and armies. This one is quite different from my usual fare not only from the standpoint of action but also from the time and place. I have never paid much attention to the court of Henry VIII other than the bits I learned in history. In fact my knowledge of him has always been compromised by Herman and the Hermits. In this telling of the life of a Maid of Honor in the court of Henry VIII I was drawn in like a moth to a flame. The story is of Alice Petherton and how she becomes the King’s favorite.
The book is well researched and this shows in the exquisite detail the author uses time and time again to bring to life not only life in the court but life in London….e.g. his description of the Thames and one particular street, Offal Pudding Lane…yikes, makes me wonder how they coped In that environment. The plot centers mainly on Alice and her rise and subsequent fall from grace and shows how frail life could be under the rule of a man like Henry VIII.
It is a tense, exciting, page turning experience as you follow Alice, a woman with the ability to beguile every man she meets and how she learns to deal with that. I highly recommend this and gladly give it 5 stars.
P.S. for those of you too young to remember 1965, Herman’s Hermits did a song called “ I’m Henry the VIII, I am”.
The Lancastrian revolt is over. Those who opposed the King are now outlaws and are being pursued with a vengeance. This is especially true for Robin Hood and his men as they are once more wolf’s heads high on the list of the King’s main huntsman, Sir Guy Gisbourne; The Raven. In this, the second volume in Steven McKay’s series on the famed outlaw, the author has crafted a tale of intrigue, bravery and betrayal. He has also continued the development of his characters, the old and the new. In particular his portrayals of Little John and Will Scarlet have gone up a notch as they help Robin overcome some very nasty treatment at the hands of Sir Guy; one of the new characters who the author has imbued with a streak of super-villain like viciousness.
The action is exciting, well thought out and is interspersed with many touching scenes…e.g. Sir Richard at Lee and his captor, a relative nobody from the village. The detailed descriptions of the forest scenes lend a nice touch to this exciting sequel. I heartily recommend this series and look forward to the third book. My rating for this is 4.7.