If you love big historical fantasies, Radford’s Pendragon novels should be on your radar. Radford has created a style that has echoes of the way her period characters would have thought and written, without interfering with the understanding of a modern audience.
One thing you can count on in this book is character change and growth.
There is space and more for these transformations, as we see enough of the harshness of the period to let us understand the characters and some of their choices. This is not a simple good character/bad character book. Good people make mistakes and do bad things, things that would have been passed over as conventional in the time. Magic works its intent, for good or ill, and characters struggle with the religious and political questions of the age.
One thing that is striking—it’s hard to read books about Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary Queen of Scots without the author loving one ruler and hating the other. Here Radford shows them as supporting characters of the story, their actions dictating the actions of the heroes. They are neither good nor evil, but educated women of their time, both pawns and ruling queens, and all the more interesting for their flaws.
If you need protagonists who are saints or always right, this may not be the book for you. But if you want a story you can sink your teeth into, with questions that are not so easily answered, you’re in the right place. This is one of the five books in the Merlin’s Descendants series.
Read a sample or buy this in ebook, print, or audiobook here.