Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Review Friday: The Lion Triumphant

The Lion Triumphant

From the Back Cover:

Played out against the seething rivalry between Inquisition-torn Spain and Elizabethan England, The Lion Triumphant traces the linked fates of strong-willed Catherine Farland and Captain Jake Pennlyon 
Called “The Lion,” Captain Jake Pennlyon is a fearsome and virile plunderer who takes what he wants, and his sights are set on Catherine Farland. Blackmailed into wedlock and haunted by memories of the gentle boy she was forbidden to wed, Cat vows to escape. Fate intervenes when she’s taken prisoner aboard a Spanish galleon . . . unaware that she’s a pawn in one man’s long-awaited revenge. Beginning as Elizabeth takes the throne of England, and spanning the years until the legendary defeat of the Spanish Armada, The Lion Triumphant follows Cat’s journey from the thrill of a first passion to the ferocity of a mother’s love. Despite the twists of history, her fortunes—and her heart—will remain tied to one seductive buccaneer. 

My Two Cents Worth:

This is the second book in Philippa Carr’s series, The Daughters of England

This is a beautifully written historical romantic thriller.  It challenged me in more ways than one, but kept me turning the page, struck not only by the violence of the Spanish Inquisition and the reversion to Protestant rule under the reign of Queen Elizabeth in England; but also main character, Catherine’s, life during this period.  It is a gripping novel that delves into the barbarism of people who murder, rape, and seek revenge under the guise of religious doctrine and superiority.  Following Cat through her tumultuous life, finding love, losing love, and not appreciating love until it was taken from her, was a difficult process at times.  It seemed that no one person could go through the trials and tribulations of life, and continue to fight while remaining sane.  

The most disturbing part personally was the total dislike of the two “leading men” in Cat’s life; Don Felipe and Jake.  I hated them both.  Then I loved them both, which was unsettling.  Both men were so dissimilar in their mannerisms, upbringing, and religious beliefs; yet, they mirrored each other in their quests for revenge, and ability to justify their evil, immoral actions through misguided reasoning.  Both were excessively arrogant, and believed they alone made the rules and decisions in their lives, and dictated events around them to achieve their desires.  They also both loved a woman who fought back vehemently; and despite her hatred of the men, she grew to admire and love those parts of each of them that were redeeming and worthy.

Ms. Carr’s knowledge of the violent history of this period creates a feeling of almost two novels in one, providing an amazing setting to explore the strength of women during a time when women had no authority and very little worth past producing heirs.  An exciting tale that had me glued to the page, and eager to read the next book in the series. 

 I give it     and a 

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