I found the opening of The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements, set at the time of the English Civil War,caught my interest. A young Kate, from a very respectable background, has an unpleasant experience with a highwayman. The book follows Kate from here and is really quite wide ranging. It dimensions of politics, morality and feminism for example as well as others. There is passion and there is anger and I found Kate is a well written and credible character. Given the era this is set in it is unsurprising that conspiracy is part of the story line with Cromwell having disposed of the king.
Kate marries, matures and changes. Through misfortune and the Civil war Kate’s life changes radically. We have highwaymen and heartache and I found the writing highly evocative and of a very high standard. I also found it rather a roller coaster of a read. It is dark in places, melodramatic in others and very powerful at times. There were times I found my attention wandering a little however mostly the pace was good and I did want to find out what happened in the end. I thought that the attention to detail such as clothing, food, occupations and the like seemed well researched and effective.
I’m not someone who often reads this type of historical fiction. While it certainly contains “action” it is equally about being a woman in the time of the Civil War and particularly one whose family is royalist. I guess it is part “romance” too. However I also dislike forcing books into boxes and so I’d just say that if this book seems to appeal give it a try. It’s well written and a good read. In addition this is one of those relatively rare books where I can honestly say that the end was for me extremely good and sent shivers down my spine. There will be those who disagree however I’m happy with endings that do not tie up every loose end – books are about imagination.
Note – I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review