*From author for review*
Heirs & Spares is an historical fiction novel, but setting it apart from others in the genre is the fact that the setting is fictional. Set in 1569 during the reign of Elizabeth I, the main character Lady Annelore is based just north of France in a place called Troixden; a place which doesn't exist in real life.
It took me until 3/4 of the way through the novel before I realised it was complete fiction; Lady Annelore and King William weren't real characters from history, and I wish so much I'd known this at the beginning.
Generally historical fiction takes real characters from the past and the author plots a tale around them. Of course there are fictional characters as well, however in the case of Heirs & Spares there are no true historical figures in the direct plot, linking the tale to the past.
If I review Heirs & Spares as a fiction novel, I would comfortably say it was a good and entertaining read. For regular readers of historical fiction though, this was light in terms of court intrigue, betrayal and general action. Having recently read The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner probably ruined my complete enjoyment of Heirs & Spares, simply because it was so rich with plot, court activity and intrigue, betrayal, love and action.
Perhaps I'd recommend Heirs & Spares to YA readers of historical fiction, providing a gentle introduction to life at court during this period, two very likeable characters in Annelore and William and a pleasing romance.
Heirs & Spares is FREE for Kindle download today in honour of the new Prince George.
My rating = ***
Stay tuned for a guest post by J.L. Spohr on "Tying Historical Fiction to Current Events" which I'm thoroughly looking forward to; particularly with the recent arrival of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge!