Alinor was very alone in the graveyard on a windy, cold night, wondering if her husband was going to be returning to her or if he had died at sea, when suddenly she found herself faced with a finely dressed gentleman of the cloth. She quickly recovered herself and sprung into action, feeling compassion for this young man who was clearly in danger of his life. What she could not foresee was that saving him would have an impact on her future and the future of both of her children. And what she will not know if this would be for better or for worse.
I was reminded by this novel was that some of the best stories require patience to reveal themselves as such. It took time to build the world in which Alinor lived, that of great political conflict, as revolutionaries were rebelling against King Charles in the 1600’s in England. Even as Alinor tried to stay out of the fray, it was impossible, as she was inextricably caught between her brother who fought for the freedom of the ordinary man and her lover who served the king he believed was ordained by his Lord directly. And the fray was mundane as well, with her tiny, provincial, seaside town being fertile ground for festering grudges and jealousies. The tidelands, as her land was called, because of the sand on which she lived which flooded and eroded with the ocean forces, was a beautiful metaphor for the shifting alliances she found herself exposed to. As these conflicts both large and small grew, so too did the literary tension, such that it really grew hard for the reader to look away.
This is a lush, striking story with beautiful imagery, forceful characters and great power. The question now is, do I read the next one in the series now or save it for later???