Saturday 25 August 2018

His Fic Saturday ~ By Sword and Storm by Margaret Skea

On Hist Fic Saturday

Lets' go back to ...France, 1598

11 July 2018

My thanks to the author and the publisher for my e-copy of this book

When the first book in the Munro Scottish saga was published in 2012, I became fascinated with the story of the violent feuding between two prominent sixteenth century Scottish families and since then I have followed this saga with great interest. With each continuation it’s been interesting to see the progression of the characters and to observe just how far the story has come since its inception. The connection between all the characters has been built with such intricate precision and a unique eye for historical accuracy that real historical figures blend seamlessly alongside fictional characters each of them adding their own distinct personality to the overall effect of the story.

This third book of the saga, By Sword and Storm, is aptly titled as not only are there disagreements aplenty, but there is also action across the sea as the Munro family are living in Paris where, in the aftermath of French religious wars, Adam Munro is now a colonel in the Scots Gardes serving King Henri IV. When Adam saves the life of the King, the Munros find that, once again, their fortunes are set to change when they become involved in the intricacy of life at the French court. The description of the splendour of the royal court is wonderfully described, and I enjoyed seeing just how the Munro family would adjust to this very different way of life. As you would expect in this Scottish saga, Scotland is not forgotten, and the Cunninghames and the Montgomeries, so vital to the story, continue to feud and fight. As always, this is so accurately researched that it adds such a distinct sense of history bringing sixteenth century Scottish politics and plotting alive in a very readable way.

Whilst By Sword and Storm comes to a natural conclusion, there is always a possibility that the story could be revisited at a later time and it would be no less fascinating for taking a break. It’s worth mentioning that even though each story can be read as a standalone, the saga is best read from the beginning to appreciate just how the story and the characters progress through time.

There is no doubt that the author has brought this period to life in her own distinct style, ensuring that the world of sixteenth century politics with all its passionate complexities once again takes flight in the imagination.

Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the 'Troubles', but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders.

Awarded the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014 and Historical Fiction Winner in the Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People's Novelist Competition for her debut novel Turn of the Tide, the sequel A House Divided was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2016. The third book in the series, By Sword and Storm, was published in July 2018. 

Katharina: Deliverance is the first of two novels based on the life of Katharina von Bora, the escaped nun who married Martin Luther. She is passionate about well-researched, authentic historical fiction and providing a 'you are there' experience for the reader.

An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer - recent wins include, Neil Gunn, Chrysalis Prize, and Winchester Short Story Prize. Placings and listings include Rubery Short Story, Historical Novel Society Short Story, Mslexia, Fish - Short Story and One Page Prize and the Matthew Pritchard Award. She has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.



 Twitter @margaretskea1


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