Reading the Morlands: The Oak Apple and The Black Pearl
A couple weeks ago I posted my thoughts to date on book 4 of the series (The Oak Apple). Then I went on a week's holiday, mostly without internet access or at lease without the time to write blog posts, during which I finished both The Oak Apple and book 5, The Black Pearl, bringing me solidly into the reign of Charles II and the time of Annunciata Morland, who as far as I can see is the main character of three(?) of the Chronicles (books 5, 6 and 7).
The Oak Apple - At the conclusion of this book, I can safely say that Hamil remained a git of the first order until his end. Not surprisingly for a book that covers what is apparently known as the "First" English Civil War, there is a fair bit of death contained in this book. The Black Pearl then covers the Great Plague, resulting in even more of the family tree being obliterated.
I'm starting to suspect that really likeable characters in this series are few and far between. Mary Esther is one of those, however. Ruth is admirable rather than likeable, but I really do like what Harrod-Eagles did with Annunciata's father.
Oddly enough one of the few likable characters is one of the historical characters, Prince Rupert. I suppose it's not actually all that odd, but it feels odd to me.
On to The Black Pearl - which I read so quickly that I feel at a disadvantage now that I'm trying to post about it. Also, because I'm currently reading "The Long Shadow", which is making me feel *less* inclined to like Annunciata (more on that in my first Long Shadow post) which is sad given that I think I still liked her during The Black Pearl. She just feels a bit... remote, I guess. I'm not sure if it's unfair that in my mind I'm connecting her to various Stephanie Laurens protagonists in my head - these aren't Regency Romances, after all - but somehow Laurens' characters live more to me than Annunciata is doing.
But this could all be my Long Shadow bias speaking.
In terms of history, reading this has certainly sparked off an interest in Civil War/Restoration history that I didn't have before. I've read a little set in this era (only two of the relevant Plaidy's so far), although that does include most of Children of the New Forest, which I've never quite properly finished and which I really should give one more go... ~wanders off to check shelves~ Got it!
And now we all know what my next read will be...