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Date Posted: 16:23:12 02/23/07 Fri
Author: Syl
Subject: Dark Birthright

This was sent in by Beccabee. Thanks, Becca!
I know the banners are constantly at the top of the boards, advertising this book, but it would be nice to get opinions here from those who have already read it and maybe draw a few new readers in. I haven’t got the book yet, but I’m planning to! - Syl


TITLE: Dark Birthright

AUTHOR: Jeanne Treat

ILLUSTRATOR: Jane Star Weil

GENRE: Historical Fiction


Dark Birthright is, in its essence, a story about families.

The family of protagonists, the Hays - Alex, Jessie, Maggie, Ian and Dughall, is a loving family, simple, devout, devoted to service. The family of antagonists, the Earl of Huntly and his son Gilbert Gordon, is not so simple. Powerful, landed, ruthless, they still exhibit very human frailties and invite compassion rather than total disdain.

The characters that orbit these two families and shape their lives and futures are well drawn and likeable, even lovable. The “main man”, the Duke - the Lord James Drake, trying to retrieve family from the vicious suffering caused by the Earl, is a crusty, principled & likeable old man. Orbiting characters such as the lovely and goodhearted Keira, the pagan priestess, Kate, the rotten, sensual mistress, Fang, the disgusting torture master, and Jamieson and Murdock, the charismatic, likeable “deputies” of the Drake and Gordon families are clearly painted and easy to understand.

The author has the gift of providing differing voices for her characters. The Hays, uncomplicated folks, speak in uncomplicated voices. The nobility, while perhaps not properly noble, reflect their upbringing, education and world view in their own more complex voices. With each character, simple or not, the heart of all matters and focus of thought and action always comes back to family.

Of further note, the illustrations in this book are exquisite. Kudos to Jane Star for excellent evocative work.

Dark Birthright is easy to recommend to the lovers of historical fiction with a moral focus.
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Replies:

[> I was supposed to get this at some point, but it hasn't arrived yet. Must chase it up! -- Marg, 17:00:27 02/23/07 Fri

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[> I received this email from Jeanne last night>>>>>>> -- becca beccabee, 04:25:29 02/24/07 Sat

"I had some wonderful news from my book distributor this week.

Books-a Million, the third largest bricks and mortar book store chain in the US, wants to stock and display my book in their stores.

A purchase order has been placed for a large amount and the wheels are in motion.

It will be 3-4 weeks before it actually gets to the stores.

This creates the necessity for a 2nd printing. Pretty good for only 5 months!

It’s almost like a fairy tale."

Jeanne's excited, I'll tell ya!

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[> Thanks for the review, I also haven't read it yet but I plan to. What wonderful news that e-mail held for Jeanne, that's so cool! -- Margy, 11:12:53 02/24/07 Sat

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[> I read this book as well and enjoyed it tremendously. Jeanne made the story so vivid, I really wanted to do something nasty to the Earl and his son! Thanks Becca, great review. -- Ruthgold18, 08:16:29 02/26/07 Mon

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