Sunday, November 27, 2022

Dawnlands (The Fairmile #3) by Philippa Gregory

The “sweeping” (Parade) and “superb” (People) Fairmile series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory continues as the fiercely independent Alinor and her family find themselves entangled in palace intrigue, political upheaval, and life-changing secrets in 17th-century England.

It is 1685, England is on the brink of a renewed civil war against the Stuart kings and many families are bitterly divided. Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister, Alinor, that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant, Rowan, to join the rebel army. Instead, Alinor has been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save the queen from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.

Alinor’s son, Rob, is determined to stay clear of the war, but when he and his nephew set out to free Ned from execution for treason and Rowan from a convict deportation to Barbados, they find themselves enmeshed in the creation of an imposter Prince of Wales—a surrogate baby to the queen.

From the last battle in the desolate Somerset Levels to the hidden caves on the slave island of Barbados, this third volume of an epic story follows a family from one end of the empire to another, to find a new dawn in a world which is opening up before them with greater rewards and dangers than ever before. 

Hardcover, 512 pages
Published November 8th 2022 
by Atria Books
3/5 stars

Dawnlands  is the 3rd book in the Fairmile Series, it begins 15 years after Tide Lands ended, to be honest that disappointed me right from the get go.  I wanted to know what transpired in those 15 years, more detail then a quick recap.   It appears that each book gets a little longer with this one being over 500 pages long.

What I liked about Dawnlands:
-short chapters, though sometimes a little too short
-chapter headings that make it clear the precise location and date

What I didn't like:
-maybe the too short chapters, was hard to really connect and get absorbed into the plot
-it jumped around a lot
-as with the previous book I am not feeling the setting outside of England
-maybe a tad too political
-the blurb gives too much of the story away

Overall the author definitely knows the history and her writing sets me in the place and time.  But I struggled to like the characters, one in particular has over stayed her welcome. I mean how can one person get away with so much, seems a little over the top.  To be honest I'm starting to lose interest especially with not given a satisfying conclusion, rather a cliff hanger for another book.

This saddens me since Philippa Gregory is the author that started me on my historical fiction journey with The Other Boleyn Girl.  Maybe I just need some space before book 4.

My thanks to Simon & Schuster CA for a print ARC in exchange for a honest review. 

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