Wednesday, December 30, 2009

133. The Fallen Kings Number 32

By: Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Rated 5 Stars


1918: German troops flood back from the Russian front for an all-out assault in France. The under-strength British reel back; the spectre of defeat haunts the land. In the front line, Bertie struggles to bring out his battered battalion; at home Jessie, carrying his child, faces her family's censure. Thomas follows the Romanovs to Ekaterinburg as Russia descends into bloody civil war. Emma drives an ambulance in the FANY, and Jack is shot down. In the last, terrifying year of the war, the Morlands are more than ever in the thick of it, winning through by courage

This is the last book in the series that is available right now. I think the next one, called The Dancing Years is scheduled to come out in May 2010. Naturally this book ended with a cliff hanger *sigh*

Since this book wraps up WWI it looks like a good place to write down some of my random thoughts about the last few books.

Ned - I am very conflicted about how I feel about him. He was a decent guy and I want him to have survived and had some post war happiness. OTOH, I also want Jesse and Bertie to have their hard earned HEA. Can the author figure out how to make both happen?

Maud - her death was just too convenient. In spite of her being such a dull character I thought the author killed her off in rather a cold blooded way. I would have rather seen the divorce happen a year or so earlier so she could have faded off into the sunset with Manvers. No one should die just because the are a boring person and a cold fish.

Thomas and his whole Russian adventure. YAWN. I skimmed those bits. The story was already too busy without injecting that into it. Maybe it ought to have it's own book. Also the author has painted herself into a corner with his story line. I wonder how she will work it all out?

Emma - I went looking on the web to see what the FANY uniforms looked liked and was rewarded with a picture of Emma's fur lined coat and Benson! Picture of WW! era FANY'S It's my guess that she will end up happily married to Knoydart in the next book. He's been crazy about her for years.

Speaking of someone whose been mooning over a woman for years, well that's Sir Freddie Copthal. I gradually came to the conclusion that he has been in love with Violet since forever. He reminds me very much of Freddie Standon in Georgette Heyer's book Cotillion. On the surface a lovable and amiable fool that conceals sharp intelligence and competence.

Holkham - now here's a guy I wouldn't mind CHE cold bloodedly doing away with in order to clear the way for his betters.

Jesse's experiences with the VAD are reminiscent of the same sort of experiences Vera Brittain wrote about in her book A Testament of Youth.

Polly - a silly little twit who needs to get busy and grow up. I hope that Lennie doesn't end up with her. He deserves so much better.

As to the Oliver/Kit speculation - Hmmmmmm. I personally didn't pick up on it but who knows.