Saturday, December 6, 2008

By The Sword by Alison Stuart

By The Sword by Alison Stuart won the 2008 Eppie award in the historical romance category. It is the story of a young widow, Kate Ashley, who struggles to carve a life for herself and her young son during the turbulence of war in the era of Charles II. Through her late husband’s family, she inherits the impoverished mansionestate and stately home called Seven Ways in Worcestershire England. But the estate is in disrepair and to restore it will cost a great deal. Nevertheless, she perseveres.

She encounters royalist, Jonathan Thornton, who is exiled and a wanted man. Stephen Prescott, a harsh parliamentarian swears to capture the elusive Thornton and bring him to justice. But the past will not be forgotten and Jonathan faces Prescott in a deadly fight over a long lost love.

The novel begins with a powerful opening – Prescott executes a young man in Jonathan’s troop. Because of Jonathan’s involvement with the Royalists, he has lost his inheritance and his freedom as he spends his time eluding capture.

This is historical romance is well written with a strong focus on history. The foils of war are clearly portrayed and tempered with the blooming romance of Jonathan and Kate. The relationship between the characters are well developed and believable. The courage of both the heroine and hero keep the reader transfixed. It is not surprising the novel won such a prestigious award.


Anita Davison said...

I treated myself to Alison's book for Christmas and sat up with my E-Reader far too late at night to devour it.

It's a lovely story and really pulled me into the mid 17th century. A difficult time between the horror of murdering a king and the acceptance of a new, but by no means perfect regime. Alison Stuart's heroes and heroines have their own allegiences which sometimes clash, but as they say, love conquers all and this book has a very satisfying ending.

kate tremayne said...

This was a spooky moment for me. For a while I was another published author called Alison Stuart and had six London Sagas published by Headline. I no longer use the pseudonyn which came from amalgamating by daughter Alison's and son Stuart's names.
For the last ten years I have been KATE TREMAYNE writing the acclaimed historical family drama the Loveday series set in 18th century Cornwall. Book 10 The Loveday Conspiracy is published by Headline in October.
Every good wish to Alison with her historical novels.