Friday, December 18, 2020

Review: Dark Tides: A Novel (The Fairmile #2) by Philippa Gregory

Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse's poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home

Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published December 1st 2020
 by Atria Books

Dark Tides is the second  book in The Fairmile Series.  It's my first time reading outside of Gregory's usually foray in the 1400/1500's Royal Court.

It's been 20 years since Tidelands concluded with an ending that left me anticipating the sequel.  Tidelands had more of a mystical feel than this one does, it was atmospheric and had great character development with many layers to different plot lines.  It left me with a number of questions that I hoped to see answered in this new book.  It was also a longish book that was a great opening for new series.

Dark Tides divides the story between 1670 England and New England, for me I failed to see the point of the New England setting, it felt like a filler.  But maybe it plays a bigger role in the next book (if there is one).

I wanted to really enjoy this book.  I got to know Alinor and her daughter so well previously and even Rob but here I couldn't connect with any of them.  I found the plot somewhat predictable and the book too long.  I didn't get the same atmospheric feel that could have helped. The ended was ok, it might have opened the door to book 3 (sorry I've kinda don't remember much of it, which is sad). If there is a book 3 I'm not sure I will continue with this series or not.

My thanks to Atria Books for an advanced e-arc (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

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