A Crowning Mercy

by Bernard Cornwell (and Susannah Kells)

 

 

Dorcas Slythe, plagued by an angry puritan father and a hatred of her own name (understandably), takes a daring rebellious move and bathes naked in the stream; but this sin is outdone when she falls in love with Toby Lazender. This is only the beginning of the tale, however, as her life takes the twists and turns of her fatherís death, her engagement to slimy Mr Scammell, her move to London and the discovery of secrets pertaining to her parentage and, intriguing of all, her heritage. Dorcas follows an amazing journey of discovery, amid troubles aplenty, including her trial as a witch and her introduction to Mrs Lazender, in order to find out all the facts kept hidden from her, and seeking the treasure left to her as a child.

 

They donít come better than this. There is every ingredient for a superb evolving story in these pages. There is romance, intrigue, evil, religion, treasure, secrets; and at the heart of this, an intensely real young girl struggling for the truth. All the characters are fantastically detailed, from the evil and disgusting Ebenezer and Sir Grenville Cony, to the pitiful Mr Scammell, to the stunning Toby Lazender. Toby is one of those characters in books you find yourself falling for despite the fact he only exists in print on paper. A true romantic hero, mixed in with the intriguing tale of secrets, lies and money - every page sparkles. I think this is quite a change from Cornwellís usual style, but this is such an expertly written adventure, you canít be unimpressed. This is the utmost in historical fiction, set in the Civil War, but as this is a timeless story of love, hatred and life, you wonít fail to turn the pages.

 

 
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