Series: Hagenheim #7
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2016)
eARC (296 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016
Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost.
Evangeline is the ward and cousin of King Richard II, and yet she dreams of a life outside of Berkhamsted Castle, where she might be free to marry for love and not politics. But the young king betroths her to his closest advisor, Lord Shiveley, a man twice as old as Evangeline. Desperate to escape a life married to a man she finds revolting, Evangeline runs away from the king and joins a small band of servants on their way back to their home village.
To keep her identity a secret, Evangeline pretends to be mute. Evangeline soon regrets the charade as she gets to know Wesley, the handsome young leader of the servants, whom she later discovers is the son of a wealthy lord. But she cannot reveal her true identity for fear she will be forced to return to King Richard and her arranged marriage.
Wesley le Wyse is intrigued by the beautiful new servant girl. When he learns that she lost her voice from a beating by a cruel former master, he is outraged. But his anger is soon redirected when he learns she has been lying to him. Not only is she not mute, but she isn't even a servant.
Weighed down by remorse for deceiving Wesley, Evangeline fears no one will ever love her. But her future is not the only thing at stake, as she finds herself embroiled in a tangled web that threatens England's monarchy. Should she give herself up to save the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?
It is no secret that I tend to really like historical fiction, especially Christian historical fiction. I just enjoyed this novel a lot.
Sure, this novel may be a bit predictable at times. There is a bit of insta-attraction going on. It isn’t to the level of insta-love but it is definitely insta-attraction the first time Evangeline sees Wesley.
Evangeline is the ward of her cousin, King Richard II of England. She has grown up basically a prisoner at a remote castle, all for her own safety. Now, however, the King is going to betroth her to a man over twice her age who she finds revolting. It is all the game of politics and Evangeline finds herself the pawn.
I really liked the character of Evangeline. She is a devout Catholic, as was most of England in this time period. If I am ever able to read any historical fiction with devout Catholic characters who aren’t crazy, that makes me happy. Evangeline has her quirks, but she is generally a very devout girl.
On the topic of religion, there are some interesting things going on here. The Protestant Reformation hadn’t occurred yet, and was in fact well over 100 years from its beginning, yet seems to be present a bit. This was kind of odd. There was nothing wrong, at this time period, for people to read the Bible in Latin or the English translations. It is a misconception that there was no English Bible until after the Protestant Reformation. This just irked me a little bit since I am such a Theology-nut.
Anyway, I loved the romance between Evangeline and Wesley. It starts so slow and they are definitely more friends as each thinks the other not worthy marriage material. Wesley thinks Evangeline is a peasant serving girl and Evangeline knows Wesley isn’t important enough in England to marry the ward of the King. I enjoyed their friendship that evolves as the book goes on.
I feel like I want to say so much more about this book, but I don’t want to spoil anything. I have to say, you should read this book if you like historical fiction.
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for
review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title
nor the content of this review.