The Silver Wolf
This exciting story is set in Europe during the Thirty Years War. The main character is an orphan boy named Jack.
At the start of the story, Jack is found nearly dead and he is taken to the home of a local businessman . He is nursed back to health by a servant in the house and he also befriends the servant`s son who is another young boy about the same age as Jack. This is when the servant finds Jack`s secret Silver Wolf badge.
Jack is a bit of a mystery because he will not say where he has come from and will not tell anybody anything about himself. The Silver Wolf badge adds even more mystery to Jack because he is still a young boy, and these badges are only given to very elite soldiers who are known as `hardmen' because of their experience. Some people also say that these badges have links with the supernatural.
The story takes us through the next few years of Jack`s life when he leaves his temporary home to become a soldier. The author has very strangely set the second part of the book as a look into Jack`s early life when his parents were still alive, and this seems a bit back to front to me but it does make for interesting reading. This is the author`s first book and apparently there are more to come.
I look forward to reading future books in this series and finding out how Jack shapes up in the future.
A Single Thread
This is the story of how a single woman started a new life in a new town in England in the early 1930`s. The main character is Violet Speedwell who is starting a new life in the city of Winchester because she is already in her late thirties and she wants to get away from her overbearing mother and begin a life of her own. At the start of the story, Violet has already moved to Winchester where she has a job in an office and she has lodgings in a local boarding house.
Violet is one of the unfortunate women who are known as `Surplus women'. Single women at that time where known by this awful name because at the time when they were growing up, there was a shortage of men. This was because several years earlier, the young men had been sent abroad to fight in the First World War and many did not come back. This meant that there was a shortage of young men for the young women at the time to settle down with and marry. Violet had lost her brother and her boyfriend in this way too.
After losing these two loved ones during the War, Violet then had to go through more grief when her beloved father passed away a few years later. This left Violet and her younger brother Tom to look after their mother , who could at times be very difficult. Tom naturally met somebody , married and had a family, and when Violet had enough of her difficult mother, she decided to become an independent woman and live by herself.
The other characters
This story very much revolves around the characters in it rather than some really exciting plot, but these characters are all strong enough personalities to make the story work.
While in Winchester , Violet wandered into the Cathedral and noticed that some sort of service was being held by a group of local people who had been making the kneelers and cushions for use at the Cathedral. So after a while, she decided that she would like to do something that would leave her mark on the world such as leaving behind a hand made cushion or kneeler. She joined this group, and from then on many of the characters in the story were people who she made friends with through this needlework group and their activities.
Other characters include her workmates , her housemates and landlady and people who she met through these characters including a new love interest which was doomed from the start.
Why I enjoy reading Historical Fiction
Reading and history were my two best subjects at school and I enjoyed reading books in my spare time as a hobby. I did not actually start reading Historical Fiction until I was well into adulthood, but since starting to read these sort of books, I know that this is one of my favourite genres.
Since reading Historical Fiction stories I have learned a lot more about history , especially Social History, which I have always been interested in. While reading these stories I can use my imagination and be taken back in time to the point in history where the story is set. I also use the internet to do extra research on the places , times and events when the stories take place. So as well as being a lovely way of passing time and relaxing, reading Historical Fiction has been an education for me too.
The Heretic`s Mark
The Heretic`s Mark is the fourth book in the Jackdaw Mysteries series which is set in sixteenth century London. This story has a main character Nicholas Shelby who is now married to his second wife Bianca.
The story starts in London when an innocent man is executed for treason and not long after this, somebody starts a rumour that Nicholas Shelby was also involved with this crime. However, everybody knows that Nicholas is innocent but he has to go away to escape from the authorities who think he is guilty.
So he takes his wife on a secret journey across Europe to Padua where Bianca originally came from. After crossing the sea on a herring boat they then make their way to the Netherlands. It is here that they meet a very strange young woman named Hella Maas. Hella wishes to join them on their journey , so the three of them make their way to Padua, posing as pilgrims. After a short time in Hella`s company they realise that she is very religious and she seems to have special powers.
I found this book to be very frightening because it made me think what it would have been like to have been eighteen years old and living in Belgium at the start of world war two. This was the situation that faced the heroine in the story.
Simone and her friend Hava are two eighteen year old girls from very different backgrounds . Simone is the daughter of an army general who became a hero while fighting for his country in world war one, she is also a Catholic. She lives with her father who gets called away very early in the war and Simone is alone apart from her friend Hava and her family who are Jews.
When the Germans begin to invade Belgium, Simone and Hava try to escape the bombing. Hava's family have gone missing while Hava is looking for Simone so that she will not be alone.
This is a fictional story based on true facts, and it is this that makes the story so realistic and frightening.