Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wild Wood by Posie Graeme-Evans

Title:  Wild Wood

Publisher: 1st April 2015 by Simon & Schuster Australia
Pages: 464 pages
How I Read It: ARC ebook
Genre: historical fiction, cultural-Scotland
My Rating:  three crowns


For fans of Diana Galbaldon’s Outlander series comes a gripping and passionate new historical novel. Intrigue, ancient secrets, fairy tales, and the glorious scenery of the Scottish borders drive the story of a woman who must find out who she really is.

Jesse Marley calls herself a realist; she’s all about the here and now. But in the month before Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981 all her certainties are blown aside by events she cannot control. First she finds out she’s adopted. Then she’s run down by a motor bike. In a London hospital, unable to speak, she must use her left hand to write. But Jesse’s right-handed. And as if her fingers have a will of their own, she begins to draw places she’s never been, people from another time—a castle, a man in armor. And a woman’s face.

Rory Brandon, Jesse’s neurologist, is intrigued. Maybe his patient’s head trauma has brought out latent abilities. But wait. He knows the castle. He’s been there.

So begins an extraordinary journey across borders and beyond time, a chase that takes Jesse to Hundredfield, a Scottish stronghold built a thousand years ago by a brutal Norman warlord. What’s more, Jesse Marley holds the key to the castle’s secret and its sacred history. And Hundredfield, with its grim Keep, will help Jesse find her true lineage. But what does the legend of the Lady of the Forest have to do with her? That’s the question at the heart of Wild Wood. There are no accidents. There is only fate.

My thoughts:

Wild Wood appears an intriguing story of one family’s existence and their home through the ages. It is a story of dual timelines – present day 1981 with Jesse and 1321 at the Scottish Borderlands with Bayard.  As often happens with dual timelines, the shining grace of this story was the historical one – a dark and dramatic tale, illustrating that time period wonderfully well and clearly outshone the modern story.

The intriguing component comes from trying to discover the link between the present and past – what is the connection. ‘Hundredfield’ – not far from the border between Scotland and England is a hard and unforgiving home with many secrets hidden in its walls.

The modern tale found the characters lacking in depth and at times got a bit repetitive and odd. For example, Alicia (current Hundredfield owner) swung dramatically in her emotions and I found myself wanting to give Jesse a good shake and tell her to toughen up a bit. It was slow to unfold and the final twist was somewhat predictable. Unfortunately this leads to mixed emotions regarding the book as a whole – a good historical story partnered with a weak modern one.

The historical story of Bayard, was far more appealing. Although hardened through many battles, and being a younger son, he was endearing, caring and compassionate given the time. A definite highlight. To draw comparisons with the famous ‘Outlander’ series is real stretch – Scotland about the only tangible link. There is no time travel and the introduction of the folklore mysticism was never really explored which was a shame. The beginnings are there but never fully explained to entice the reader in further.

It was an average read, enjoyable but not captivating. It keeps you going because you want to understand Jesse’s connection to Hundrefield. With a bit of mystery and a bit of romance in both timelines, it is the good historical drama of Wild Wood that will see you through to the end.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

No comments: