Publication Date: September 28, 2015.
Genre: Historical fiction, young adult, England, 17th Century.
Source: Free copy from Endeavor, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.
England has been engaged in a bitter Civil War for nearly ten years. Ralph Chaplin, a farmer’s son, has fallen for beautiful copper-haired Kate. There is only one problem – he is a Roundhead soldier and she is a Royalist lady.
Tired of bloodshed, Ralph volunteers to fight, sensing that the Battle at Worcester will be a chance to finish the fighting for good. He longs for peace, so he can forge a secure future and find a different, more equal way of life for himself and Kate.
But war is not what he imagined, and soon he has made a deadly enemy; one who will pursue Ralph and those he loves, and wreak vengeance. What’s more, Ralph finds he has just as many enemies at home, as on the battlefield.
Told by Ralph’s ghost, Spirit of the Highway is the stand-alone second part of the Highway Trilogy based on the real life and legend of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, highway woman, and heiress.
I enjoyed reading Spirit Of The Highway. However, I believe the book is written for an older teen and not a younger teen. The language and romantic elements are not appropriate for my granddaughter's age (6th grade), but more for high school age. This is the only aspect of the book that I had a "red flag."
Spirit Of The Highway is a story of sacrifice, passion, and internal conflict. Ralph and Kate are in an impossible situation. They are from different social classes. They are from differing political factions. During this period in history marriage is not a choice, but arranged by families. Throughout the story their plight is the strongest opposition. The political climate is an opposition, but the attraction and relationship Ralph and Kate have for each other drew me in emotionally, and carried me through to the last page.
Spirit Of The Highway is not written for a strong history lesson, but with the intent of showing two young people in an impossible relationship during the English Civil War. The year for the story is 1651, and this was the last year of the war.
About The Author:
Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Lady’s Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists.
She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District – a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Spirit Of The Highway