Friday, May 1, 2009

Review: The Long Shadow, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

#6: Covers the reign of King James II; 1670-1689

The Long Shadow is the sixth book in the Morland Dynasty series. I’ve kind of been reading this series out of order; the first book in the series that I read was #5, The Black Pearl. Book #6 focuses on Annunciata and Ralph Morland—Annuciata continues her rise at court in London, becoming a Countess, while Ralph keeps himself at Morland Place. Their lives are overshadowed by the end of the Restoration, and the dangerous reign of James II, where the battle between Catholics and Protestants becomes more complicated than ever.

This is the third book I’ve read that has Annunciate Morland in it, and I can safely say that this novel solidified my dislike of her. At best, she’s selfish and spoiled, an indifferent and sometimes uncaring mother and wife. I liked Ralph Morland at the end of The Black Pearl, but here he seems a bit standoffish. Even Annuciata’a children are somewhat unlikable, especially Hugo. But other than the characters, I thought this was an interesting addition to the series. The Catholic/ Protestant conflict goes a bit over my head at times, but Harrod-Eagles makes history accessible once again.


darkened_jade said...

I don't know if I could read a book where I disliked the character so much. I liked that you still found good in the book, even with that distaste, and you didn't let it cloud your review. Very fair minded.

Teresa said...

Annunciata is definitely at her worst in this one. I liked her a little better in The Chevalier, but that may have been partly because there was an outright villian who was much, much worse.

Angie said...

Thanks for the review. This looks like an interesting book.

Cathy said...

I love this series, not just because H-E makes history so accessible, but because of how the family "waxes and wanes". Some generations seem to have the good'uns while others have the baddies. Real life, eh? I posted about my TBR shelves today, and in one of the photos, you can see 4 Dynasty books (if you know what to look for)!

The Tome Traveller said...

I love this series, just finished the latest, The Foreign Field.

One of the things I like most about this author, besides her ability to weave so much history into the story, is her realistic characters. Here is the entire history of a family through hundreds of years, some are good people, some are rotten. As Cathy said, that's real life. :)


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