I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde
Release date: February 21st, 2016
Genre: Historical fiction, young adult, romance
“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac. He will break your heart, and you will not recover.” So prophesies a wizened healer to Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex. If there is truth in the old crone’s words, they come far too late for Annis, who defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves.
Alden du Lac, once king of Cerniw, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. He has only one possession left worth saving: his heart. And to the horror of his few remaining allies, he gives that to the daughter of his enemy. They see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.
Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.
I have mixed emotions about this book. On the one hand I liked it, on the other not so much. It’s really strange for me because I usually love ALL things historical fiction.Rating it was really hard. Should I give it a 2. 5 or a 3 or a 3.5? I ended up going for a 3, but I still don’t know. It’s just so hard!
The book, while historical in nature, is set after the time of the mythical King Arthur. It’s focused on Lancelot’s son who has just lost his kingdom to the very evil King Cerdic. It’s quite obvious that the author did a lot of research before writing the novel. The historical accuracy was there and the languages, customs and the way the characters interacted was believable. I definitely learned a thing or two and was encouraged to go look things up. I really wish a map was included. It would have been nice to see the different kingdoms. I had a hard time figuring out where they were exactly located.
The main issue I had with the book was that it felt long, which it honestly wasn’t. It’s around 318 pages in length, but some parts just really dragged on. It started off fast paced. A prisoner and a daring rescue…why? What’s happened. I was hooked, but then things just kept on repeating. Run, hide, run, hide. It was all the same. I did keep on reading because I wanted to know if Alden would win his kingdom back. Would he exact his revenge on Cerdic?
Alden was a well rounded character. He was full of emotion, struggling with himself to do the right thing, to put his people before himself. You really get to see him of through a wide range of issues and his love for Annis, the daughter of his enemy, was beautiful to watch unfold. I was rooting for them the whole time. I just wish Annis was as developed as Alden was. For being a main character she was quite one-dimensional. She was always he damsel in distress. Oh no, I’m growing, save me! She’s portrayed as weak and the thing that is always dragging Alden down. It was just so frustrating because she started off as a very brave character. So much more could have been done with a person who was willing to sacrifice her life for the person she loved.
Basically, the book was good, but it could have been great. It had all the right components: romance, an interesting twist on the Arthurian legend, a time period not commonly written about, political intrigue…it just didn’t fully utilize characters or situations to make it happen. That said, if you are interested in the time period or are looking for an interesting historical read, this book would be a good choice.