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I started it to help other readers find the good ones...the keepers. In addition to authors guest blogging, I will share my reviews of those I've rated 4 and 5 stars, my favorite authors, my "best" lists and occasionally a special post. Come join us!
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
New Review: Mary Jo Putney’s the Silk Trilogy - Worthy Victorian Tales of Adventure and Love in Exotic Locales!
Silk & Shadows
Silk & Secrets
Veils of Silk
How about Persia, Uzbekistan and India for exotic locales? Well, Mary Jo Putney will be
my guest tomorrow, talking about her research into the exotic locale of
Uzbekistan for her story Silk & Secrets, so I thought to review her Victorian Silk trilogy—all three books—so you can
dive into them yourself: Silk and Shadows,
Silk and Secrets and Veils of Silk. Here we go...
Silk and Shadows:
The first in the trilogy, Silk and Shadows, while not set in an
exotic locale, is an important foundation for the other two stories. Set in
England at outset of the Victorian era in 1839, this is the story of Lady Sara
St. James, the daughter of the Duke of Haddonfield, and Mikahl Khanauri, an
exotic chieftain from the East who has come to London for revenge on Sir
Charles Weldon, who coincidentally, is betrothed to Sara.
Mikahl is introduced to
London society as Prince Peregrine of Kafiristan by his good friend Ross, Lord
Carlisle, Sara’s cousin, and the hero in book 2.
From the very beginning,
practical Sara is drawn to Mikahl, as are all the ladies of London. He is
mysterious, masculine and very wealthy. She does not love her betrothed,
Charles, but thinks he will make a decent husband for a plain girl with a limp
(the result of a terrible riding accident she had as a child). Charles, who has
a dark side, wants her for her noble lineage and for her dowry. Mikahl thinks
she is beautiful and courageous of heart.
As a part of his revenge on
Charles, Mikahl seduces Sara so that she is “ruined” in the eyes of her father
and her betrothed. Then he offers to marry her, never realizing his heart is
Putney brings us a wonderful
set of complex characters and at times their banter had me laughing. And who
could not love the mysterious Mikahl who sees beyond the surface to what lies
beneath? He recognizes Sara’s pain because he has experienced so much himself.
The plot will keep you guessing, knowing both the hero and villain hide secrets
as they prepare to unleash their weapons on each other. A worthy tale of
redemption, revenge and letting go of the past to embrace the future.
Silk and Secrets:
With book 2, we are off to
Central Asia where Sara’s cousin, Lord Ross Carlisle, younger son of the Duke
of Windemere, and friend to Mikahl Khanauri (now Connery), seeks adventure.
Though it is set in 1841 in Bokhara,
Uzbekistan, it begins in Constantinople where Ross learns that his brother has
died and he is now the Marquess of Kilburn, his father’s heir. It is there we
discover that Ross has been married for the last twelve years to Juliet
Cameron, daughter of a Scottish diplomat. They married young and Juliet left
him six months later feeling that she could not handle London Society.
When Juliet’s mother asks
Ross to go to Bokhara to find her son, Ian, he agrees, never knowing he will
soon find his estranged wife, an adventurer who has won the respect of the
Persians where she rules a small kingdom. Ross, a splendid hero everyone seems
to love, admires her as she admires him. They seemed perfect for each other and
Juliet’s leaving him so long ago is a bit mystifying.
Putney has done much research for this
story and she brings the culture of Central Asia to life. The story is rich in
historical detail—the sights, sounds, dress and food are vividly portrayed. The
scene of the Uzbek equivalent of polo, played with the body of a dead goat, was
absolutely thrilling. Lots of action here as we dive into the mystery
surrounding Juliet’s missing brother and Ross and Juliet together fight off the
bad guys who are trying to kill them. Along the way, their love is rekindled.
Truly an exciting adventure in an
Veils of Silk:
Now we are off to India! The
story begins in 1841 as Ian Cameron, the Scottish soldier rescued from the pit
of hell in book 2, but left with only one eye, thinks only of returning to his
regiment in India and seeing again his fiancé, Georgina. Alas, thinking him
dead, she is no longer his.
Discouraged, Ian decides to
resign his commission. When he learns he has inherited the title of Lord of
Kilkirk, he plans to return to Scotland. But first he must carry out the
request of his fellow prisoner, Potyr, a Russian who died, and deliver a
Bible/journal to the man’s niece, Larissa Alexandrovna. But “Lara” is now Laura Stevenson, having taken the name of her
stepfather who she loves.
Ian comes upon Laura in a
crisis in the jungle where a man-eating tiger threatens her camp and her
stepfather has just died. Both suffer nightmares from their past and bring each
other comfort. Ian believes he cannot perform sexually after his brutal beating
in prison and Laura wants no sexual relationship, so when Ian proposes a
marriage of convenience, she accepts.
Heading for Bombay, they
encounter many adventures and a detour that reveals a plot Pyotr was a part of
to spread a fire over India, an upheaval that will see the British gone. Along
the way, Ian discovers he is still a man in all ways.
Putney very cleverly inserts
passages from Pyotr’s journal that tell Laura much of her new husband and what
happened while he was in prison.
A rich tapestry intricately
woven that gives you a look at the many faces of India.