Saturday 16 January 2021

BLOG TOUR: Children's Fate (The Meonbridge Chronicles Book 4) - Carolyn Hughes

I'm delighted to be one of the bloggers closing the Rachel's Random Resources blog tour for Children's Fate by Carolyn Hughes.  After you've read my review, make sure you enter the fabulous international giveaway at the end of my post to win an Amazon gift card.

How can a mother just stand by when her daughter is being cozened into sin?

It’s 1360, eleven years since the Black Death devastated all of England, and six years since Emma Ward fled Meonbridge with her children, to find a more prosperous life in Winchester. Long satisfied that she’d made the right decision, Emma is now terrified that she was wrong. For she’s convinced her daughter Bea is in grave danger, being exploited by her scheming and immoral mistress.

Bea herself is confused: fearful and ashamed of her sudden descent into sin, but also thrilled by her wealthy and attentive client.

When Emma resolves to rescue Bea from ruin and tricks her into returning to Meonbridge, Bea doesn’t at first suspect her mother’s motives. She is happy to renew her former friendships but, yearning for her rich lover, Bea soon absconds back to the city. Yet, only months later, plague is stalking Winchester again and, in terror, Bea flees once more to Meonbridge.

But, this time, she finds herself unwelcome, and fear, hostility and hatred threaten…

Terror, betrayal and deceit, but also love and courage, in a time of continuing change and challenge – Children’s Fate, the fourth MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLE.

What did I think?

Children's Fate is book 4 of The Meonbridge Chronicles and although I've read every one of the wonderful books in the series, you can most definitely read it as a standalone.  Children's Fate is simply superb and I think it is the best book in the series so far.

For readers new to the series or those who need a refresh, there's a wonderful cast of characters at the start of the book.  I love this thoughtful addition as there are a lot of characters in the book, although Carolyn Hughes introduces them gradually so as not to overwhelm the reader.  Children's Fate focuses on the Ward family, particularly widow Emma and her daughter Bea, who left Meonbridge for Winchester in 1354.  The year 1360 sees Emma with a good job as a weaver and Bea with an apprenticeship as an embroiderer, however, the embroidery business is a front for a bawdy house.  To protect her daughter, Emma moves back to Meonbridge but Bea is far from happy about leaving her lucrative new life behind.

Carolyn Hughes is one of the best historical fictions authors I have ever read.  Her books are based on historical facts but are brought to life by such wonderful characters that the reader gets to know throughout the series.  Even if you haven't read the earlier books, there are reminders of particular characters' backstories within Children's Fate so as not to disadvantage new readers.  Just to reiterate the use of real historical facts in the story, I was amazed to read in the author's note that there was such an embroidery business whose mistress sold her apprentices into prostitution.  

If you like historical fiction you will love Children's Fate and all of the Meonbridge Chronicles.  I love that you can read each chronicle as a standalone but they are even better when read as part of a series.  Carolyn Hughes' writing is so vivid that I felt fully immersed in the story and the return of the plague felt even more scary as we tackle our current pandemic.

Children's Fate is such stunningly vibrant historical fiction that I wholeheartedly recommend.  Even if historical fiction isn't your preferred genre, Carolyn Hughes writes with such vivacity that ensures Children's Fate will appeal to all readers.  Absolutely brilliant and completely faultless - without doubt a five star read.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and all opinions are my own.

My rating:

Buy it from:
Amazon US

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.

Children’s Fate is the fourth novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fifth novel is under way.

You can connect with Carolyn through her website and social media:

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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1 comment:

  1. Goodness, Michelle, what a fabulous review! Thank you so much! And thank you for joining the book tour for Children's Fate. You've really brought the week's tour to a splendid conclusion.