Monday, August 18, 2014

Revenge and Retribution by Anna Belfrage

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Obtained from: Netgalley/Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read: August 10, 2014

'Revenge & Retribution' is the sixth book in Anna Belfrage's time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham. Life in the Colony of Maryland is no sinecure - as Alex and Matthew Graham well know. But nothing in their previous life has prepared them for the mayhem that is about to be unleashed upon them. Being labelled a witch is not a good thing in 1684, so it is no wonder Alex Graham is aghast at having such insinuations thrown at her. Even worse, it's Matthew's brother-in-law, Simon Melville, who points finger at her. Not that the ensuing hearing is her main concern, because nowadays Alex's entire life is tainted by the fear of what Philip Burley will do to them once he gets hold of them. On a sunny May afternoon, Philip finally achieves his aim and over the course of the coming days Alex sees her whole life unravelling, leaving her family permanently maimed. As if all this wasn't enough, Alex also has to cope with the loss of one of her sons. Forcibly adopted by the former Susquehannock, Samuel is dragged from Alex's arms to begin a new life in the wilderness. How is Alex to survive all this? And will she be able to put her damaged family back together?

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Anna Belfrage never ceases to amaze me. Revenge and Retribution is the sixth novel in her Graham Saga series, but the events of the story are just as fresh as those of its predecessors. I know it isn't professional to gush, but I really can't help myself. There aren't many who can revisit a story so regularly and sill maintain a sense of originality.

Take for example, the Graham children. Far from being carbon copies of their parents, they follow their own paths, manage their own trials and respond to life's tribulations in their own unique ways. The older generation is not immune to this evolution either, though their growth is less noticeable, they also mature and change with the passing years, giving the reader the opportunity to get to know them in different ways. 

Belfrage doesn't shy from darker material and I personally think that one of the strongest elements of her work. Things don't always turn out the way the reader hopes, characters get hurt, relationships are strained and not every plot point has a happy ending and while I can see where some might see this as a betrayal, I applaud the effort wholeheartedly for the authentic quality it brings to the emotional landscape of these novels.  

Historically, I think Belfrage tapped into two very interesting chapters with Revenge and Retribution. I was initially concerned that colonial superstition and captivity among the native tribes were concepts too large to share the same book, but Belfrage balanced them nicely within the scope of the Grahams' experiences.

A dark and addictive tale, Revenge and Retribution proved impossible to put down. Highly recommended to both fans of the series and those discovering it for the first time. 

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The Voice laughed. Death was a relative in respect of time. For a person born in the future to fall back and die in this time, how could they be dead if they had as yet not been born?
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Check Out All the Stops on Anna Belfrage's Revenge and Retribution Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Friday, August 15
Review at Just One More Chapter
Monday, August 18
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Tuesday, August 19
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 20
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Friday, August 22
Review at Layered Pages
Monday, August 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, August 26
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, August 27
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Friday, August 29
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, September 1
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Tuesday, September 2
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, September 3
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, September 4
Review at Kincavel Korner
Friday, September 5
Guest Post at Kincavel Korner
Guest Post at bookworm2bookworm’s Blog

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