I previously read the first book Daughter of Time and I loved it. So I picked up the second one.
The story follows Anna and David, Meg’s children. Who due to an accident and who knows what magic, end up thrown in the past just in time to save Llewelyn, the last real Prince of Wales, from being murdered. From there, we’re thrown head first into life in 13th century Wales and the trials and tribulations within.
Much like the first book, this one starts strong and stays strong. Anna and David are interesting characters who provide their own insight into 13th century life. Anna chafes against the expectations of being a woman in the Middle Ages, while David chafes against being the son of the Prince of Wales (This is not a spoiler). Especially if you read the first book. Since the core history altering event takes place in the first chapter, the whole book is a giant what if… And since the influencers have the benefit of a 21st century education complete with Karate and strategy video games the decisions create a domino effect which lead to some surprising conclusions. Seriously, I love the research the author has done and how she manages to include it.
I also really like both David and Anna. David especially. Which is good, considering he’s the hero of a lot of the later books. David makes mistakes and is a kid. But he’s also likeable. That counts for a lot. I have a few quibbles with this book - none of them were individually big enough for me to knock down a star, but cumulatively they were. The first is an 18 month time skip with a timeline thrown in there. When we return one of our characters is married and has already suffered a loss. When we left, the attraction was just starting. I felt cheated by the glossing over of their story. Give me their story!!!
Dammit! I wanted their story. Especially since they are POV characters. I felt cheated. However, this book is less romance and more action, so I semi-forgave it.
The second was the easy acceptance of every character who learns of their origins. This is a time when cats were killed for causing illness and the evil eye was a very real fear. I’d like a little more disbelief and conflict in that direction. I get that Wales is not England or Scotland and that the main characters are immediately acknowledged as under the Prince of Wales’ protection. But still.
The third thing was the switch from first person from the first book to third person. Now here comes fair warning. The author does this a lot. She is consistent in the book itself, but from book to book switches from first person to third person and back again. I’ve read all of the books (barring the random novella) and this is something I’ve noticed. I would honest prefer them all to be in the third person. Especially as time goes on more and more POV characters are added.
Finally, and this is something that I still rant about, the Author gets Judaism wrong. This is where having a Jewish co-author/best friend is both a blessing and a curse. At one point, a Jewish character is introduced and it’s stated that they can’t eat with non-Jews. And I went… Huh?
This is because I am not Jewish and I have DEFINITELY eaten with Jews. Including Seders. I’ve also had practitioners of Judaism eat in my house. So when I first read the book, I marked it off as “maybe this is how it was and how Orthodox Judaism works." Then I checked with Rose. And she went, “maybe she’s thinking about Kosher food and keeping all things kosher.” And I went, “but he eats food out of the same kitchen as the main characters and there’s no way that the kitchen is kosher. Plus, he’s turning down the king of the country who is about to offer his people a safe haven from persecution… at that point, you eat at the same table.” And Rose agreed. (We’ve had a LOT of talks about Judaism over the years.) One of the big rules is that all laws and commandments can be thrown out in times of necessity/to save a life except three: Murder, Incest, and Worshiping False Gods. It’s called Pikuach nefesh. Yeah.
I really love that Gif.
So despite my ranting about this, it’s not a big enough of a plot point for me to knock it down another star. If it were a bigger plot point, I would.
However, that being said, I’m glad to have stumbled on this story and look forward to seeing where it goes. (Spoiler: I’ve now read the whole series)
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