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Every Star Trek the fan must admit that nothing exciting ever happens until someone does something incredibly stupid. By writing this story from the first person point of view of a 17-year-old girl, Mary Findley makes the opening chapters very believable. Hope is stubborn, proud, ignorant and keeps the action moving. Unlike Star Trek, TV and movies in general, where the stupidity never seems to stop, Hope learns from her mistakes.
This is a highly readable historical novel. Unlike Tolstoy’s War and Peace, I can remember who the characters are. I both read and studied Tolstoy and he still confuses me. The much shorter Hope and the Black Lion has a consistent point of view and a limited cast of characters. This is a big plus for me, because I can keep them straight.
For those of you who love period vocabulary, this will be a great book. For me, this was the chance to become intimately acquainted with the online dictionary. Just click (or tap if you have touchscreen) and for a brief definition and you may continue reading. For instance, what is damask, anyway? The setting and titles of nobility are historic, though none of the characters are.
The story is set during the time of the Crusades. Hope is a Lady whose father died. Hope and her mother go to live on the estate of her mother’s brother. She pitches a fit for oysters, trades an heirloom for man’s clothes so she can run in a race for boys only, nods off during Latin lessons, sneaks off to meet a boy by climbing down a castle tower and this is all in chapter one. This is followed by seventeen more action packed chapters.
We have action, love, romance, swords, castles and unbelievable stupidity all in the same book. Actually, it’s all very believable; and lovable.
Karen Baney’s Blog features a Character interview with Maeve Collinswood of my Historical Romance Vienta. Please check it out, and thank you, Karen!