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