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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Fortune's Son" by Emery Lee ~ Historical Fiction at its Best!

Published by:  Sourcebooks
Pages:  440
Genre:  Historical Fiction

This Dame's Review:

If more historical fiction were written like this, I'd be reading more of it!

Intelligent, elegant, and intimate in characterization, Emery Lee has delivered yet another exhilarating book in her historical fiction series, making a name for herself in the ranks of those who write the best historical novels in the business. Gambling, horse racing, poverty, prison and passion~ want more?

"Fortune’s Son" is rich in authentic Georgian detail that brings the settings and circumstances alive for a reader. Emery’s story focuses on the gambling life of ne’er-do-well and overreaching Philip, Earl of Hastings, and its secondary epic love story between Philip and Susannah, Lady Messingham is just as absorbing. Don’t assume either of these storylines is told in the ordinary "fluffy" manner of some other historical fiction novels.

Ms Lee has a gift for writing, absolutely, and she is scholarly. This sets her a notch above. Her characters are complex. I wonder if they are skeletons drawn from actual figures of Georgian England. Significantly, one thing I loved about her writing is that I forgot to care so much about the gowns and surroundings because I was so swept up in the richness of her characters and the action of her novel; and I can tell you that’s highly unusual for me! I’m nearly always engrossed in  the interiors and fashions described in historical fiction; that's not to say Emery didn't salt her novel with them, just the same.  It's just that she didn't need them to carry her book.

Main Characters
Philip Drake, Earl of Hastings ~ I loved his impetuous nature balanced by his passion for true friendship, love and humanity. A gorgeous man, earthy, but with a conscience. His gambling in all areas of his life was his downfall, but not always his ruin.

Susannah, Lady Messingham ~ my favorite character. A strong woman who was widowed, abandoned by lovers, husband and fate. She was independent, determined and strong, but not cold and emotionless.Generous in spirit, she opened her home and heart to others. Saw the best side of Philip against all odds.

Wicked Lords, Moneylenders, Bishops, Jailers, Whore-mongers, Tricksters and Card-thieves... these various characters were colorful in description and disguise!  So interesting that I hope we see many of them in this series by Ms Lee.

Why I recommend this book?

Emery Lee is an emerging author/storyteller of intelligence and depth. She has character-building skills that engender a close relationship and emotional connection with her characters. That alone guarantees a fabulous read! She also has a strong plot to keep readers tied to those characters.

I live for a well-written, well-researched book that draws me into the characters’ psychology and emotions. That’s great reading to me. In a historical novel, that’s all we can ask for, along with period detail, which this book has in abundance.

Recommended for those who love historical fiction with intelligence and a realistic love story.

5 race you to the moon stars



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