20 Aug 2018

ARROWSMITH 2: ALL THE WINDING WORLD.




England 1294 - The country is under siege, threatened by treachery and invasion. In the contested territory of Aquitaine, the incompetence of the English command has led to the capture and death of many of King Edward’s most trusted knights. Amongst the angry hostages, there is one who will choose to betray his country.

Meanwhile in the Welsh Marches, resentment against crippling taxes and conscription boils over into rebellion. Lady Illesa Burnel, determined to protect her family and home, must find an ingenious way to free her imprisoned husband before Fortune’s Wheel tips them all into death and ruin.

This gripping sequel to 'The Errant Hours' interweaves old and new characters in a moving story about the savagery of war, the insistence of love and the power of illusion.
- Back Cover Blurb

The rooks were flying back to Hawksley wood.
- First Sentence, Thursday The 6th November AD 1292; The 20th Year Of The Reign Of King Edward I: Langley Manor, Vespers

The last object was a length of silk thread, bright blue, wound into a complex knot that seemed to have no end. He had never untied it, but he knew it was the exact length of Illesa's body, from the point of her toe to the top of her head. She had measured him and had candles of his height dedicated to Saint Christopher. But the measurement of her own body she had knotted into this sign of protection which he was to wear close to his skin.
- Memorable Moment, Page 166

SOURCE ... Received with thanks from the author.

READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... No.

MY THOUGHTS ... Whilst I hadn't read the first instalment in this saga, The Errant Hours, a whole new chapter; set ten years later, All The Winding World reads perfectly well in its own right.

Interweaving two stories, that of Richard and Illessa, in a tale of the thirteenth century that is as richly, as skilfully woven as any Medieval tapestry.  

The author's ability to craft a novel; the way she draws the reader into the Medieval world, a world informed by religion, custom and superstitions, superb. The twits, the turns, plentiful. The action, the adventure of it all, gripping; the battle scenes harrowing and yet never gratuitous. The love story, tender; a tale of what 'true' love can achieve. The characterisation? What can I say about the characterisation?

With a myriad cast of memorable characters, all of them bringing something to the story, it was however one in particular who intrigued me.

An exceptional character, I hope it makes sense when I say, fearful and yet, somehow, fearless; strong, brave and practical; her religious beliefs and practises considered, in no way do they hamper her decisions; in many ways she defies what it is to be a woman at this time and yet, at the same time, totally and utterly believably Medieval ... Truly compelling, I thought Illessa fascinating.




 

5 comments:

Brian Joseph said...

This looks so much interesting. The Thirteenth Century seems so mysterious and obscure. Maybe more so then periods that preceded it. Thus, I would like to read this. I also love the cover.

Kelly said...

Set a few decades earlier than the series I'm currently reading (and loving), this sounds right up my alley. I may have to track down the first and put it on my wish list. You know me - even if it can be read as a stand-alone, I like to start at the beginning.

Literary Feline said...

I haven't read too many books set in this time period, but this sounds really good. I am glad you enjoyed it, Tracy!

nightwingsraven said...

Tracy,
What you said about this
book sounds so interesting
and good. Not to speak of what
you said about the characters
especially Illessa. I will
definitely add it to my list,
but like Kelly I will start at
the beginning of the series.
But thank you for your excellent
review.
Raven

michel starc said...

MWDS
Building designer in Blue Mountain
Architectural Drafting Blue Mountain
Architectural consulting Blue Mountain