'You believe it’s the King’s right to command Parliament; I don’t. You’ll fight to preserve His Majesty’s prerogative; I won’t. And we could argue till kingdom come without it making a blind bit of difference.’
‘You want His Majesty turned into a puppet?’
‘No. I want Parliament turned into something more than a cipher,’ came the swift reply. And then, ‘A balance has to be struck. The King stands for stability and tradition – and no one wants to see him safely back on his throne more than I do. But Parliament represents the people and must be allowed to act in their interests without fear of being dissolved on a royal whim.’
‘’Tis to preserve His Majesty that we against him fight,’ sang Francis.
For quotes and comments as I read - Buddy Read The Black Madonna
Historical Fiction with a romance element, if you enjoy Donna Thorland's books, you want to put this on your list.
This follows the Maxwell family (Roundheads), the daughter Kate is highlighted, the Langley family (Cavaliers), small glimpses of the Cliffords, Luciano del Santi, and the English Civil War. There is a lot of history in here, you get a good look at the players, circumstances, and events that lead to the war and then how it affects the family and friendships. Luciano and Kate are the romantic element but they do spend more time apart than together. Luciano is on a revenge/justice mission to find out who orchestrated his father's death. This worked to keep Luciano away from Kate and some added angst, but for me, it felt unnecessary and clogged up the story, we have a whole Civil War lead up and beginning to deal with.
The author does an amazing job with her characters, their relationships, and development of story with historical persons and events weaved in. The last thirty percent was tension filled with a focus on the Basing House siege and Luciano finally meeting his enemy. I was totally sucked into these characters and their stories, there is a wide cast with even secondary characters stealing your attention. Since Luciano really doesn't have a side in the war, besides the mentioned Basing House and some Powick Bridge, direct contact with battles, blood, and death isn't focused on. The feel of the war is through Kate's father Richard (you'll fall in love with him and his wife Dorothy and their relationship) and the political dealings he navigates in the parliament, the emotional dividing it causes for our characters, and nightly news feeling updates.
The beginning was a little difficult to navigate as a lot is thrown at you, the middle you grow to love the characters, and the ending was a crescendo of the building tension. Kate and Luciano have biting banter and oodles of chemistry when they manage to get together but like I said, the whole little Civil War thing and Luciano's search for justice, keep them apart more than not. Definitely sticking with the series as there are many characters I need to know what happens to.