Hello, my lovely readers! I have the massive pleasure to be sharing my review of this amazing book, my goodness this is good! I know that I have babbled a fair amount through this review, but when you come across such stunning quality as we have here, then it is very hard not to rabbit on a bit, apologies in advance.
Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth.
When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family far, she is sold into slavery. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of depravation and heartbreak. Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity.
Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousand miles from home, he endures forced labour in the unforgiving cane fields. As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her.
With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives.
Together they must fight to survive; together they are determined to escape.
My goodness, this is good! Honestly, this is way beyond the meagre word of ‘good’ there is a shining star-like quality about this book and I can’t seem to find the appropriate words to describe what I want to say. I feel like after reading this my whole perception of what a historical should be like has changed, Cryssa you may have ruined me for other authors now.
I was completely blown away by just how incredibly hard-hitting and powerful this book is, its thrilling, heart-breaking, emotional, original, and cleverly written, there is a sadness that pulls you in and then amongst the heartache there is real wit and natural humour, plus a soul melting romance; Mairaid and Iain will undo you with their tantalizing love. This is how history should be written; meticulously researched history, gripping plot, beautifully crafted characters, gorgeous scenery. Ms Bazos is a master at dynamic and realistic history which take the reader on a gorgeous journey to the end.
Cryssa Bazos, I bow down to your excellence, this is stunning!
Set in 1652, just after the English Civil War; Scotsman Iain Johnstone and his band of soldiers have been captured by the English first kept on as POWs then sold into slavery and transported to Barbados, where he, his brother in law; Glencross and their comrades find themselves owned by a sugar cane plantation owner. Forced to work in the fields, doing back breaking work in the burning heat, practically starved and beaten they have found themselves in the inner circle of hell.
With the English invading her precious Ireland, Mairead O’Connell is sent to live with her aunt, uncle and cousins in the country to try and protect her from the English. Unfortunately, the English arrive at the house and take her and her cousins; Bronagh and Ciara prisoners, which see them sold into slavery and sent to Barbados – on the same ship as Iain, which is where our couple first meet. Mairead is heartbroken not just to be stolen away from her home, branded like a work horse and sold she is separated from her cousins and finds herself amongst strangers who most hate her. She made a promise to her cousins that one day they, all three of them will be reunited and find their way back home.
My heart goes to all of them, they are stolen away and treated like cattle, it is heart-breaking to witness such brutality toward them. Iain is a proud man and the mere thought of being ‘owned’ and being slave does make him feel like he has failed not just him but his men. He vows that whatever it takes he will find his way back to Scotland, that he will not die as a slave he will escape. I love Iain, no matter what he is faced with he sticks to his guns, he shoulders a lot of responsibility, but he is loyal, Protective and caring for his men. He does come across as a growling, brooding, monosyllabic bear at times but that is just to cover the raging emotions below the surface.
Mairead is so strong, she is patriotic, loyal, feisty and defiant. She faces everything with a brave and stubborn tilt of her chin and gets on with whatever is thrown at her. Like Iain she has faith that she will see home again, she won’t be defeated and she won’t be used like the other girls have been.
They are a brilliant couple, they have to face so much together but yet they feed of one and other, they see kindred spirits in each other. Those little moment when they are able to just be themselves and don’t have to worry about what is going on around them, is so beautiful. You will be cheering these two on the moment you meet them, if ever there were a couple who deserved a happy ever after then these two are it.
Severed Knot is astonishing, it is far more then just your standard historical romance there is a real life and death, raw, gritty and deadly undercurrent to it, that is all consuming. You feel every emotion, sadness, fear, heartache, pain, laughter, joy, happiness, empathy – all the human emotion that makes a great story is all here. At times it’s intense, violent and difficult reading, especially when it comes to how Mairead and Iain are treated. I will say it is not for the faint hearted, but if you are like me who likes to become entrenched in historic realism then you need to read this book.
Ms Bazos has done an astounding job at reeling the reader into her world, its all so vivid and real that you can see the plantation in your mind, you can practically feel the heat of the sun burning into your back as you watch Iain and his comrades toil away in those sun-baked fields. You can feel smell the evil that is emanating around the whole Vale property, it’s intense and graphic and will certainly give you goosebumps.
Honestly, I cannot praise this enough. Severed Knot is one of those books that you just know from those first few pages will be a classic. It will be enjoyed again and again, I know that I will be pulling off my bookcase again. I can say for certainty, that this will be going on my best books of the year.
I am just so in love with this book, I cannot recommend this enough. If you love your more daring, brutally honest and tenderly loving historical’s then this is the book for you.
This was an Arc from the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much Cryssa.
Severed Knot is to be released on 7th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.