By Justin Newland
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Via: ZooLoo’s Book Tours
Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Step into 18th century Prussia and meet a land-owning family, its matriarch, and their community as they navigate politics, faith, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, treachery, and romance as the Seven Years’ War with Russia and Austria rages.
Countess Marion von Adler of East Prussia.
The Countess could really use some Excedrin Migraine or a CAT SCAN. Her hubby Gottfried is off fighting the war, leaving Marion to run the estate – when she’s not down with a splitting headache. And what’s up with her visions of eagles?
A Russian solider-turned sexton of Schloss Ludwigshain. He has “a foot in both camps” – secular and spiritual.
Young son of Marion and Gottfried. He winds up conscripted into the Prussian Army. Bummer.
Strong-headed, impetuous teen daughter of Marion and Gottfried. Childhood friend/sweetheart of Caspar.
Marion’s younger brother. He walks with a limp and is keen to mechanize the family amber mine. (Think younger version of Jurassic Park’s John Hammond.)
A Prussian solider who returns from the war broken physically and mentally. Sisi’s sweetheart, even though she’s out of his league.
This guy’s one creepy quack. And whoever heard of a “physician” arriving for service without laudanum or herbs?
Captain Donald Lester
Scottish captain and greedy scallywag. Skipper of The Lion Rampant.
You just have to read the book for this one. (I read the whole thing and I still don’t get it.)
While her husband Gottfried is fighting in the war, Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. It is soon requisitioned by Russian troops who are none too convivial. When she tries to stop them to protect her people from a hard winter and starvation, a Russian captain strikes her.
When Marion is struck by the captain, a young Russian lieutenant, Ian Fermor, leaps to her defense. Fermor is run through by his captain. Marion subsequently saves Fermor’s life. He then becomes sexton of the von Adler estate and is a divisive figure in the close-knit community.
While on death’s doorstep Fermor dreams of a “numinous eagle entity.” The raptor’s territory extends across Northern Europe and “is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…” Or… something.
Robust characters, vivid descriptions, and sturdy writing buttress an intricate plot with more twists and turns than the Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain. They include intrigue. Romance. Double crosses. Visions. Loyalty to the state vs. loyalty to friends, family, or faith. The Industrial Revolution/Social Revolution. Greed. An amber mine that recalls the copper mines of Poldark’s Cornwall.
- There’s no such thing as the New Testament “Book of Revelations” (See pp. 101, 112, 174, 199, 200, and so on.) It’s “Revelation.” Singular. Not plural.
- The word “numinous” is overworked like a rented mule.
- The narrative assumes you have at least a passing familiarity with the time period and the basic geography of Europe. (If that’s not the case, you might want to bring a pocketful of bread crumbs so you don’t get lost.)
- You also might want to brush up on your German, French, and Latin.
The Coronation is a finely crafted novel and will certainly find an audience. A consummate blend of historical fiction/fantasy and the paranormal, this book will captivate, delight, and enchant some readers. Others may find it overwritten, obtuse, or a one-way ride to Snoresville.
Our Rating: 3.0
About the Author
Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day.
He lives with in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.
The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the
skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the
mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind.
The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set
during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of
China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the
beginnings of modern times.
Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of
the Industrial Revolution. His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery.