This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Spring Reading Thing--Book Review

The Morland Dynasty
by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Prior to Katrina’s Spring Reading Thing over at Callapidder Days I started this series with The Founding and the Dark Rose. I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate finding new authors or new books that start a series. Harry Potter comes to mind…I know I am not the only one who is waiting for Book 7. I hate waiting. That was why I have always been so happy with my Tolkien books and my Herbert/Dune books (until Frank’s son Stephen decided to take his father’s notes and elaborate extremely well on the series—now I am impatiently waiting for his next book—I digress). DCG and I have found it wonderful to stumble on series that have been around for awhile, and after getting totally involved in the first we can go and buy the whole set and read them all in rapid succession.

Well my heart’s desire was answered in the Morland Dynasty. Harrod-Eagles has 29 books written in the series. 29!! I shall have something to look forward too for a while. The series begins with The Founding. in 1434 when Richard, the Duke of York, becomes King Richard III. The tale is of the Morland family whose story begins with the marriage of Eleanor Courteney and Robert Morland and works its way up through history to 1915.

I was addicted from the onset of The Founding. I am not going to claim these to be the height of literature, but I do find Harrod-Eagles knowledge of history to be admirable, her writing easy and accessible, while still compelling. I might have to admit, these have possibly found their way into my life to fill the void of mostly giving up soaps over 15 years ago, and my lack of television viewing due to my life with my children. I am thinking this must be my version of LOST, 24, Survivor, and whatever dramas I am missing out on. Humor me.

The Dark Rose starts in 1501 with Henry Tidr (Tudor) on the throne. We see the Morland family woven around the events with Nannette and Paul Morland as the main compelling characters. We see all of Henry’s queens, focusing on Anne Boleyn. Mary and Elizabeth and young Edward are beginning their lives and the story ends with Henry’s death.

The third book in the series, The Princeling, is the one I just finished last week. It is 1558, Elizabeth I is now on the throne. The battle between Catholic Rome and Protestantism reigns. Intrigue and deceit, treason and treachery run wild. England fights on all fronts either in actual battle or at the court. Nannette from book two is still alive and while she is the thread that winds her way through much of the story the main characters become a younger Paul and his love Mary Percy and Lettice wed to a wolfish Scottish count, Lord Robert Hamilton.

Harrod-Eagles weaves historical fact and fiction seamlessly and compellingly. There is not a dry page. She makes me want to go back and read more history, after, of course, I have finished the next twenty-six novels in the series. The Oak Apple is the fourth in the series and also on my to read list for The Spring Reading Thing. I am not promising that I won’t stuff in books five and six somewhere between now and the beginning of May. We’ll see how I am doing.

Go check out Callipper Days. Katrina is a warm hostess and check out her Spring Reading Thing. There are sooooooo many signed up. If you can possibly say you have no idea for something to read, this is the place to go. Visit all the other readers and find out what is on their list. My list has grown immensely.


JennaG said...

Wow, you are doing great with your spring reading--and I'm just getting started! I will be sure to let you know about Grapes of Wrath. I just keep picturing that Veggie Tales cartoon with the green peas in the old pick-up truck! So cute!

scribbit said...

Oh I love historical fiction. If you like adventurous and pirates and that kind of thing, Sabatini is hard to beat or Captain from Castille by Shellabarger. That's on my top ten. Along with Tolkien.