Wednesday 24 January 2018

The Vermilion Bird by CP Lesley (Legends of the Five Directions Book 4)

Reviewer: Liza Perrat, author of The Bone Angel trilogy (Spirit of Lost Angels, Wolfsangel, Blood Rose Angel) and new release, The Silent Kookaburra.

What we thought: An excellent and entertaining addition to CP Lesley’s 16th century Russian historical series, Legends of the Five Directions. I was really looking forward to The Vermilion Bird as I have read and loved the first three in this series, which I have also reviewed: The Golden Lynx, The Winged Horse and The Swan Princess.

Once again, the author brings to life 16th century Russian court and politics through the unlikely couple of the scheming and snappy Maria Koshkina and her Tatar sultan husband. A seemingly mismatched couple, the pair attempt to get along before they are caught up in the clash between their two warring cultures: the Russians and the Tatars.

As in the previous Legends of the Five Directions books, the reader is drawn into sixteenth century Russian life via the author’s attention to detail and the research involved in recreating such a world. Then love, romance, adventure and intrigue render this story a spell-binding page turner. The characters we have come to know and love in previous books, such as Nasan and Daniil, leap off the page once more, interwoven with real characters, to portray this distant nook of sixteenth-century Moscow.

In The Vermilion Bird, I felt I was experiencing sixteenth-century Russia firsthand, and I am now eagerly awaiting the last book in the Legends of the Five Directions series, The Shattered Drum, which will be published shortly, I believe.

The author’s notes explaining the reason why she chose the Vermilion Bird phoenix for Maria are of great interest too.

You’ll like this if you enjoy: tales of romance and adventure that feature strong-willed women.

Avoid if you don’t like: action-packed, fast-paced historical political intrigue.

Ideal accompaniments: Vodka and Russian gingerbread.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Available on Amazon

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