If anything, this surprised me as I began to turn the pages. The main character was someone with reason, someone with much thing going for her, and this is a tale about a girl finding her own brother. As much as it is escaping from danger, and a horrible environment.
And yet, such a simple story managed to tug on my heart. I believe that the real central had been Makepeace.
There is almost no romance, the relationship between her and James is purely platonic, and a sibling relationship. Raised together but never more. I enjoyed it as this was a tale of Makepeace doing what she could for her own elder brother. Even as the plot thickens, with the family which took them in showing their true colors, and England being in civil war. With Charles I against Parliament.
But at its core it never lost what was the main story, which Makepeace seeking to free herself, regardless of the cost.
And it made for an exciting read as time went by. All the while never leaving one end hanging, with everything concluding by the end.
The setting was used well enough to explore it, despite being a fantasy. Giving enough to the complexity of the situation, adding the sense of danger lurking everywhere.
Unlike The Lie Tree which I found boring, with a plain main character. Makepeace just worked. The situation she began in, her inability to navigate at the start, before the middle began with her losing everything and becoming a pawn. To her find her own way to win.
There always was a vulnerability in her, but it is also the same heart that pushes her to become a hero. And I found every move making sense, everything seemed to fall into order.
Although I have to say, Makepeace isn’t a really unique protagonist. But there was something in her that clicked with me, made me understand her. And the same character who has never been strong, and yet I believe her when she is, is one of the things that I find so good about her.
She isn’t some strong woman, but she never spends the book moaning about how hard her life is. Even when it is. It has always been finding the solution, and moving forward. Another good thing is also the fact that she is never a damsel, or rather she has no time nor the place to be.
And this was why I enjoyed it. It was enthralling and never let me have a chance to put down the book. Fully recommend.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5