A Crowning Mercy Paperback – Dec 1 2009
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From the Back Cover
The civil war that is tearing England asunder in the year 1643 has not yet touched Dorcas Slythe, a secretly rebellious young Puritan woman living in the countryside south of London. She aches to escape the safe, pious tyranny of her father—and the opportunity appears with the arrival of Toby Lazender, dashing scion of a powerful royalist family, who awakens her to her passionate destiny. Her adventure truly begins with the discovery of an intricately wrought gold seal—one of four that, when joined, will reveal a great secret. Suddenly grave danger lies before her—not from Cromwell's advancing armies, but from relentless enemies who covet the great treasure to which she now holds the key.
About the Author
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers 1356 and Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others.
Susannah Kells is the pen name of Bernard's wife, Judy Cornwell. They live on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I located a copy and found it a most credible example of the genre.
It has all the proper elements of a historical romance, a heroine who feels alienated from her family, forbidden romance, the presence of titled families, physical danger, secret pasts and great fortunes plus a few unique twists of its own. Romance novelists usually don't write about how the point beats the edge in a sword fight.
The original liner notes said that the author, like the heroine, was raised among members of a very strict religious sect that she rebelled against as an adult. That is true, as Cornwell himself was adopted shortly after birth into an offshoot of 18th century Methodism that called themselves the Peculiar people. As I read A Crowning Mercy, I got the distinct impression this was a more personal books than the author's other works. For that reason alone it is a must read for the true Cornwell fan.
Beautifully written, this novel set during the English Civil War has everything: a heroine with a mysterious past, an engaging hero, an intricate plot, and some truly loathsome villains.
Its companion novel, "The Fallen Angels," is every bit as good.
I will continue to read and purchase this writer as his insight within specific historic periods is a continuing delight to me.
Dorcas Slythe is the unloved and ill treated daughter of a Puritan family. She is a beautiful girl and Puritans, as a class, tend to be distrustful of beauty but one gets the impression that it is not only for her beauty that Dorcas is ill used. There is something else going on.
When her father dies, Dorcas learns that she is the subject of a mysterious Covenant. She realizes that there is some money involved but she doesn't really understand very much about it except that her family is eager to marry her off to an oaf. She wants none of it. She is in love with a boy from a nearby castle and resolves to run away and try to learn about this covenant.
During the course of her adventures, she gets embroiled in the Civil War and finds love. She also finds loss, betrayal and adventure in spades. It is hard to know who to trust in this one. It's a good book and worth reading.
The hero and heroine were very sweet, true love at first sight and the villains were truly evil and despicable. The author keeps things authentic and pulls no punches, you will know what it was like to see someone killed (yes the blood gets everywhere) and to be in a 17th century prison cell (it's not pretty).
Four stars instead of five because I thought the search for the witches teat in front of the court was a bit over the top, while the love scenes between Toby and Campion were almost chaste in comparison. Note, although just over 500 pages, this is a small paperback and read very quickly. A pleasant way to spend your Sunday afternoon.