Book Review: Forged in the Fire by Ann Turnbull (Quaker Trilogy #2)

2 Sep


Three years later, and Will and Susanna have maintained their relationship through letters as Will establishes a career in London and forgedinthefireSusanna continues to carry out her duties for Mary in Shropshire. Quakers are being persecuted more than ever. Added to that are the threats of bubonic plague running rampant in London, and the dry heat of summer which is leading to more and more fires. When Will is silent for far too long, Susanna decides to travel to London to find him, fearing the worst. But she will stop at nothing to be with Will, even if it means traveling to her own death bed.

I read the prequel to this book, No Shame, No Fear, a few weeks ago and, as you might remember, I quite enjoyed it. I was ecstatic to find that there was not one but TWO sequels to the lovely book, and I grabbed a copy of Forged in the Fire the moment I saw it.

It’s taken me a while to get to it, but it took me all of two sittings–and then only because I had to sleep–to finish it. That doesn’t happen often for me, and hasn’t happened at all in recent months. It’s just so easy to get wrapped up in Will and Susanna’s world. Though I don’t know much about Quaker history, the lives and times of these characters seemed to be seamlessly researched. At least, the sights, sounds, and smells seemed real enough that I was living in London–and if there’s something amiss historically, well, I didn’t notice it.

Once again, I quite liked all the characters, though Susanna got on my nerves this time with the “woe is me” jealousy that cropped up toward the end which didn’t feel right. That “woe is me” jealousy borders on cliche and I didn’t think it suited Susanna, who had such a good head on her shoulders in the previous book. Nevertheless, it’s a small complaint because it played such a small role in the book overall.

Meanwhile, I was still fascinated by the Quaker religion and horrified by the amount of persecution they experienced at the hands of their countrymen. Families ripped apart by plague is one thing–families ripped apart by the whims of a few guards is quite another. It was heart-breaking to hear about the trials of some of these characters, and they aren’t even real.

As I said, the plot kept me reading–but I won’t put any spoilers here. Let’s just say that it’s not often I go to bed grudgingly, wishing I could read just one more chapter, and wake up early so I can finish the book before starting on the day’s work.

There was an event that took place in the book that I was eager to hear more about. Susanna’s friend Judith moved to Massachusetts, which I thought would make for an interesting tale of its own. That’s when I went hunting, hoping there was yet another sequel, and found that there is–and it’s set in (what will become) the US! I’ve just placed an order for it, so expect a review of Seeking Eden in a few weeks.

Again, highly recommend this series to lovers of historical fiction, young and old.

 

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One Response to “Book Review: Forged in the Fire by Ann Turnbull (Quaker Trilogy #2)”

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  1. 2013: A Year of Reading in Review | More Than One Page - December 26, 2013

    […] Forged in the Fire (Quaker #2) by Ann Turnbull […]

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