Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for De Bohun’s Destiny by Carolyn Hughes, the third book in ‘The Meonbridge Chronicles’ series. You can read my review below.
About the Book
How can you uphold a lie when you know it might destroy your family?
It is 1356, seven years since the Black Death ravaged Meonbridge, turning society upside down. Margaret, Lady de Bohun, is horrified when her husband lies about their grandson Dickon’s entitlement to inherit Meonbridge. She knows that Richard lied for the very best of reasons – to safeguard his family and its future – but lying is a sin. Yet she has no option but to maintain her husband’s falsehood…
Margaret’s companion, Matilda Fletcher, decides that the truth about young Dickon’s birth really must be told, if only to Thorkell Boune, the man she’s set her heart on winning. But Matilda’s “honesty” serves only her own interests, and she’s oblivious to the potential for disaster.
For Thorkell won’t scruple to pursue exactly what he wants, by whatever means are necessary, no matter who or what gets in his way…
Format: ebook (394 pp.) Publisher: Riverdown Books
Published: 3rd May 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction
Find De Bohun’s Destiny (The Meonbridge Chronicles #3) on Goodreads
Having thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in Carolyn Hughes’ ‘The Meonbridge Chronicles’ series – Fortune’s Wheel and A Woman’s Lot – I was delighted to get the opportunity to read an advance copy of the latest instalment, De Bohun’s Destiny, and to be invited to join the blog tour for the book by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.
De Bohun’s Destiny can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone. The prologue provides a recap on events in the earlier books for those new to the series and the dramatis personae will help new readers familiarise themselves with the main characters. However I would encourage readers who love historical fiction, especially set in the medieval period, to read the series (with their lovely redesigned covers) from the beginning.
We’re seven years on from the Black Death (referred to as the ‘mortality’ by the inhabitants of Meonbridge) and the travails of that dreadful time. De Bohun’s Destiny shifts the focus from the villagers to the residents of the Manor – Sir Richard and Lady Margaret De Bohun – and to the future of the demesne. If drama and intrigue is a little more to the fore in this book, there’s still plenty of the details about daily life in Meonbridge which I so enjoyed in the first two books. And, as before, the author introduced me to plenty of new words from the period, such as mazer and leman. The glossary proved particularly helpful in this respect.
The book conveys a picture of a male-dominated society in which women are largely consigned to the role of providing sexual pleasure, producing heirs or being the means to an advantageous social or financial connection through marriage. However, once again, the author provides a number of strong female characters, notably Lady Margaret and her daughter, Johanna (now known as Sister Dolorosa or Rosa since becoming a nun). Lady Margaret proved herself quite capable of running a large estate during the time of the mortality and Sister Rosa seems to have inherited that ability when it comes to the administration of Northwick Priory.
As it turns out, secrets are difficult to keep hidden in a small place like Meonbridge. The author keeps events moving along at a swift pace and no sooner does it seem that one threat to Meonbridge’s future has been averted than another one appears in its place, if anything in deadlier form. Loyalties are tested as economic futures are put at stake. Can the community come together once again, as it did at the time of the mortality, when enemies in more human form threaten it? You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens and whether justice awaits the malefactors.
De Bohun’s Destiny is another great addition to the series and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up once again with the people of Meonbridge. I was also delighted to learn Carolyn is working on another book in the series.
I received a review copy courtesy of the author and Rachel’s Random Resources.
In three words: Absorbing, engaging, intriguing
Try something similar…The Turn of Midnight by Minette Walters (read my review here)
About the Author
Carolyn Hughes was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.
She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.
De Bohun’s Destiny is the third novel in ‘The Meonbridge Chronicles’ series. A fourth novel is under way.
Connect with Carolyn