In the Shadow of the Storm by Anna Belfrage

shadowofstorm

In my travels through the magical medium of historical fiction, and most especially in the last year or so, I have encountered some wonderfully crafted female characters.  To name a few, but certainly not all; Eleanor in the Feud series by Derek Birks, Selene in the Daughter Of Cleopatra books by Stephanie Dray, Giulia Farnese as portrayed in Kate Quinn’s Borgia series, Alice Petherton in Martin Lake’s tales of Henry VIIIth, Patsy Jefferson by the duo of Laura Kamoie and Stephanie Dray and now added to the list, Anna Belfrage’s Kit.  The story takes place during a revolt led by Sir Roger Mortimer against King Edward and his principal advisor the twisted, reprehensible Hugh Despencer – he ranks as one of the more disgusting creatures I’ve encountered in literature – though he is but an example of the author’s gift for characterization and development.  It is a story of how a man sees his honor and his loyalty to his liege lord as more important than what he knows will be the result of that honor and loyalty. Weaving through that tapestry of lost hope, physical pain and fearful dread, Kit finds the formidable woman inside and withstands the many misfortunes that fate has strewn in her path.  From a girl, kidnapped and forced to assume the identity of someone else, to a woman filled with a love strong enough to endure.  The author breathes life into the time, the place and the conflict…the reader feels that they are a part of the weaving, that they are walking the fields and courtyards, are experiencing the wretched prison cells, are transported by moonlit nights of romance.  Hoover Book Reviews awaits the sequel.  5 stars

 

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