Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage

approachingdark.jpg

With the deposing of Edward II, the ruler over England is now Edward III, though he is ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover, the formidable Lord Mortimer.  Adam now serves the young King, his loyalty is resolute even though he still harbors great affection for Mortimer.  In this, the third tale of Adam and his wife Kit, the author brings to life the increasing tension in the royal court as Edward III comes of an age where he longs to shed his keepers and take up the mantle of kingship on his own.  It is a story filled with twists and turns; the emotional frailties of the human spirit; the battle for control of the crown; the longing for home and loved ones.  It is also a story of love and romance; Isabella and Mortimer, Edward and his young wife Phillipa, and most especially between Adam and Kit.  The author is on her game when it comes to the foibles and joys of the bonds of love.  An eloquent, page turning drama awaits the reader, though I must admit to having to stop turning pages when Kit and Adam are – well you’ll see for yourself.  🙂  I’ve come to appreciate the amazing talent Anna Belfrage has exhibited in drawing me into the stories she writes, and Under the Approaching Dark is another fine example of that talent.  5 stars

Advertisements

Days of Sun and Glory by Anna Belfrage

days_sun_glory.jpg

A taut thriller of a sequel awaits you, my peeps and fellow travelers.  Kit and Adam find themselves in a precarious position as Hugh Despenser continues his vengeful hatred of them while they are now members of the Royal Court.  Toss in an heir to the throne who is being played by his parents as they seek to control him for the future, mix in a bitter feud between King and Queen and vigorously stir in the Mortimer plot to overthrow the King.  The result is a marvelously crafted, character driven tale of anguish, hope, fear and bravery.  The author has the reader guessing throughout the book what the outcome of these events will be, even though the reader may know the end from history.  That, my friends, is what makes a great read; at least to this humble scribbler of reviews.  4.8 stars

 

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