‘Against the Tide’: Freedom Redeems & Makes a Noble Hero!


Against the Tide

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden | Book Review

Writing historical fiction demands the one holding the pen is of a certain talent; and a lot of patience. Any historical author worth their salt will take hours to research their subject, setting or era. As a girl who appreciates an anticipatory historical novel, I respect this. Against the Tide marks Camden’s third novel, and of those, two have a spot on my ever-growing keeper shelf. Many fans may remember Against the Tide’s hero, Alexander Banebridge or Bane as he goes by, from Camden’s debut. ‘Tide’ is the best in its class from this year, comfortably so.

Camden’s voice matures with expert dialogue, and brilliant scenes that intrigue and tease. Camden’s “sense of place” is sure to impress any history buff. It’s interesting and leaves a reader loathe to turn the last page. 

Woven into the period details is a deeper, subtle message of faith. The achievement of the message is the hero. Using the “heroes are made, not born” adage to the best advantage, Camden forms Bane, an anti-hero into a very noble, swoon-worthy man who Christ redeems; what’s still interesting is to see the “bad habits” of his past follow him. 

BOOK REVIEW | Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Once on the cusp of pure evil, even though shadows still cling to Bane, he’s a better man. I’m not sure this character trope has ever been done this well before. The narrative thread (of faith) isn’t prominent nor overwhelming but the discerning reader will “feel” the passion and grace Bane emulates.

The story’s pace also works for the “big picture” of the plot. With a pleasant prose, Elizabeth anchors the story in rich period detail, and integrity of the characters. Never does she loose sight of their emotions. Even in these quiet moments, there’s excitement and still plenty of time to savor the hero and heroine’s bond. Bane is not the only complex thing in the story. Lydia is also, though hers is because of  innocence. As a reader, I didn’t expect all her story entails; a risk that pays off.

BOOK REVIEW | With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

In the elements the encompass Lydia and Bane as a couple, it surprises me how little the romance factors in. Yes, Lydia falls hard for Bane but an unusual amount of time separates them and the love story isn’t the easiest to “buy” given that time-frame. This said, I never doubt her love for him or his for her. Weaving a beautiful story, I am undeniably impressed with Elizabeth Camden’s third novel. It’s one I’ll re-visit, and it leaves me breathless for her next endeavor. THROWBACK REVIEW: Elizabeth Camden's Against the Tide - Freedom Redeems & Makes a Noble Hero! Click To Tweet  

About the Book:

Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Genre: Fiction; Historical
Find the Book Elsewhere: Goodreads
Find the Review Elsewhere: Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★★

With thanks to the INSPYs and publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for purpose of reading it.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. This was one of my absolute favorite reads of the past year. I loved it SO much…Elizabeth Camden is definitely an author fave. :) And man, you just gotta love Bane.

    1. Despite its release in 2012, I think this is going on my 2013 "best of" list, Melissa. I was a bit disappointed by Elizabeth's middle novel but adored her debut and this one also. Hopefully Into the Whirlwind will follow in those footsteps also. :)

      Bane is an epic hero. Just sayin'. ;)

  2. I admit that I wasn't really looking forward to this book until after reading "The Lady of Bolton Hill." I grew to like Bane in that book so when I realized "Against the Tide" had him in it I added it to my "to read" list. I got it a free copy from the publisher, read it, and ,yes, I liked it.

    Thanks for your thoughts on the book. As I wrote before, you have a lovely way of writing a review.

    1. Glad you gave the book a chance despite the skepticism, Grace. It was sure a memorable read – I liked that Elizabeth turned an anti-hero, bad boy into a noble man of God. Made for compelling and inspiring reading. :)

      Thank you for stopping by and reading. Appreciate your kindness. :)

  3. Your writing is so thoughtful and beautiful, Rissi – wonderful review! Like Melissa, this was one of my favorite reads of 2012. :) It was just so powerful, and I cried so much near the end!

    I requested Into the Whirlwind from CFBA, so I'm looking forward to reading that soon!!


    1. Hey, Amber! Always love seeing your smiling face and "two cents" around here, my friend – thank you. :)

      This is definitely going to be one of my "top" 2013 reads despite it being a 2012 publication. It was one of those books that got pushed aside in pursuit of other reads. Happy that the INSPYs finally gave me a good excuse to actually read it.

      Ooo! Jealous you will be (hopefully) getting Into the Whirlwind for review. I'm definitely now SUPER anxious to read it. :)

  4. This was definitely my favorite of Elizabeth Camden's work (although I haven't read The Rose of Winslow Street yet- it's on it's way to my house now;) – I loved it! I'm really looking forward to her next book. Unlike a lot of christian fiction, she had really memorable characters- Bane especially :)

    1. Personally, I didn't love 'Rose,' Hayden. It felt like a big let-down after the charm of Elizabeth Camden's debut novel. Then there is this book which definitely renewed my faith in this author – it was SO good. I sure hope you enjoy her second book – anxious for your review. :)

      Elizabeth does have wonderful characters – that's what makes her "voice" so good. That and the unexpected moments a reader doesn't peg in the beginning.

  5. Excellent book! Absolutely a stellar read. The romance is so tender, I ached a bit to watch it blossom. The characters are oh-so charming. 5 stars for it and for your review, Rissi.

    1. It sure is, Ganise. Love that it took risks and wasn't the "comfortable" read most inspirational historical fiction usually is. :)

      All of the characters are wonderful and the romance was special – no matter how subtle. That I think was a strength – because it was so tender and the subtly helped that. :)

  6. I started reading "The Rose on Winslow Street" over a year ago and then I moved, so I haven't had a chance to get back to it. But I'm eager to finally read something of Camden's! :) Glad you liked this one, Rissi!

    1. It was perfectly lovely, Rosie. Such a beautiful story – and one that took some risks which is something I as a reader admire when it's done well. :)

      Cannot wait to follow your reading progress eventually – and I hope you like the rest of 'Rose.'

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