Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Deborah Kinnard's Seasons in the Mist ~ Reviewed

Seasons in the Mist
By Deborah Kinnard
April 2010
Sheaf House

Reviewed by Michelle Griep

Bethany Lindstrom, a graduate student in history, wants the same things as any ambitious historian: worldwide academic recognition, a series of brilliant papers, and a reputation that places her in the front ranks of her peers. She's well on the way to achieving her goals when her trip to the U.K. to work on a dig at Oxford goes awry from the moment she lands at Heathrow. A missing taxi, an enigmatic acquaintance, and an unplanned trip to Cornwall form no part of her plans. Then, as she wanders around her hostess's ancient home, searching for history, she stumbles through an unseen portal to the fourteenth century.

Stranded in 1353 Cornwall, Bethany must find a way back home or face a life of falsehoods and peril. But with the stern Lord Michael Veryan, she is swept into the dangerous intrigues of King Edward's court, which will test their mettle and their faith in God to the limits—and forever bind their lives together.

Time travel. Big beefy noblemen. Castles and danger and romance….what’s not to love about this book? In Seasons in the Mist, Deb Kinnard pulls off a satisfying visit to the chivalrous realm of the past—and a very real visit it is. Kinnard’s style of description allows the reader to experience the medieval era up close and personal.

History is woven with fiction throughout and with such skill that it’s sometimes hard to tell fact from fable. Mossock House seemed so genuine that I thought I might like to go there myself someday. I googled it to see if the real image matched the one in my head. I’ll save you the trouble—Mossock is not real. But Kinnard’s portrayal of King Edward’s court and all the vying for power did correspond to the factual intrigues of the time.

I must admit that toward the end of the tale, I got a little nervous. I didn’t see how Kinnard would pull off a happy ending. So nervous, in fact, that yes…I did skip to the last page just to make sure. Without spoiling it, let me just say don’t worry. You’ll be happy with the grand conclusion. And even better, there’s room for a sequel.

In the current tight economy, Seasons in the Mist is a very affordable getaway to a place and time that will haunt you for long after you close the book. Hopefully this is the first of many time travel/spec fiction titles for Sheaf House and the first of other titles to follow by Deborah Kinnard.

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