The Silvered Heart
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
1648: Civil war is devastating England. The privileged world Katherine Ferrars knows is crumbling under Cromwell's army, and as an orphaned heiress, she has no choice but to do her duty and marry for the sake of family.
But as her marriage turns into a prison, and her fortune is decimated by the war, Kate becomes increasingly desperate. So when she meets the enigmatic Ralph Chaplin, she seizes the chance he offers. Their plan is daring and brutal, but it's an escape from poverty and the shackles of convention. They both know if they're caught, there's only one way it can end...
'The distant thrum of galloping hooves conjures nothing but doubt and fear these days."
Okay, so I was really excited when this showed up in the post, it was the best surprise ever considering I loved The Crimson Ribbon, it was totally perfect and so was this, I can't even begin to tell you guys!
This book is totally engrossing, it sucks you right in to the time period and keeps you there while you read, I read this in one sitting because I couldn't put it down or tear myself away from the world. The time period is brought to vivid life by the authors writing and world building, and her historical knowledge gives you a perfect understanding of the politics of the time, and you leave the book with a feel for what it was like to live in that time.
I didn't really know much about the time period, but after reading the book that's very different. The book is filled with historical fact without being laid out in pages of background information that you have to slog through, the history is woven in with the plot and there's a lot to learn from the book. I feel like I've learned more than I ever would have in a history lesson and in a much better way, a way that means that my brain has absorbed the knowledge like a sponge. I don't know if I've mentioned before, but I can learn my lines and remember them perfectly, but ask me to remember anything else and I fail unless it's something that interests me and my brain decides to hang on to the knowledge! Which is why I was good at history and sucked at everything else!
Anyways, I'd never heard about The Wicked Lady before, but once I'm done typing this I'm off to see what else I can dig up about her, there was never any confirmation about who she was, but the author has taken a theory, and come up with a plausible plot and story as to who the highwaywoman was and what her motivation was. The authors note at the end tells you everything the author knows about Katherine, which isn't much, no-one even knows how she actually died unfortunately, whatever Katherine's real story, I'd wager this one had a marginally happier ending.
The plot was intriguing, the writing compelling. The plot is full of betrayal and drama and intrigue and plots and was engaging until the last page. You're sucked in to Katherine's world and trying to decide who can be trusted, right along with her. There where plenty of plot twists and turns and it would appear Game of Thrones hasn't hardened me to character deaths or killed off my sense of hope because when Rafe's execution happened, I was like "someone's going to save him.....any time now....okay maybe he's not actually dead and they switched him with someone or something...". I think my heart broke when Rafe was hanged. It genuinely did, and then when Willis appeared and I lost all hope that it had been a trick, my heart broke again. I so wanted her to get her happy ending.
In case you couldn't tell, I connected with Katherine, I felt everything she felt right along with her. The betrayal from Rachel, the frustration the sense of being trapped, the heart break at Rafe, everything. It's an emotional read, or at least it was for me. Katherine is brought to colourful and believable life, I don't know what really happened to the real Katherine, but this version of her life is written so well it's totally believable if you didn't read the author's note and learn this isn't true.
The Silvered Heart was an emotional read, with a character you come to love, and feel for. The Silvered Heart blends historical fact and fiction seamlessly so you're left eager to learn more about the events and the people, and learn what was and was not true. You come away from the story having been totally engrossed and sucked in to England at this particular time period, having learned more about the history of the time and the events and the politics and the people, while still having read an engaging and gripping story. I really do love this author's work, and I hope she continues to write many books, because I'm looking forward to her next offering.
Now, if you'll excuse me, the heart break of Rafe's death so soon after McDreamy's this week on Grey's has left me requiring copious amounts of ice cream! *ugly sobbing*