on 22 November 2007
I was pleased to find Sara Donati's series. Into the Wilderness (her first) caught my attention so much that I simply went out and bought the remaining three published thus far. Dawn on a Distant Shore and Lake in the Clouds were somewhat disappointing, and I began Fire Along the Sky out of a sense of obligation. What I discovered is that Donati gave up attempts to write 'action' and returned to her romance roots. The result was a much more satisfying book.
While lean on historical accuracies, this book delivers if you are looking for an entertaining story with some sexual tension and interesting characters. It is simply a very enjoyable read - nothing more. Just fun!
The drawbacks are that the story does build upon events from books One through Three, and readers will be far better informed if they've read the series in order than if they attempt to pick up here. Over the years Elizabeth Bonner's character has become slightly annoying, and Curiosity Freeman is practically a cliche. I missed Nathaniel Bonner as well; he's a bit too far in the background in this book.
That said, the characters of Lily Bonner and her cousin Jennet Carryck are more interesting. Further, Donati delivers realistic portrayals of how grief and mourning may rob the very life of a person when writing Hannah Bonner and Daniel Bonner, and how their painful silent inward anguish pains and haunts all who love them.
The draw in this story is the romance between Lily and Simon. Does it come out of nowhere as other readers mention? Yes. But you won't care after a bit. It simmers, nearly boils, then cools and simmers some more... and repeats that cycle again. The presentation of their growing relationship - particulalry their sexual one - is a bit 20th Century, but that just made it fun to read. Donati skillfully stokes anticipation, and brings back memories of feeling giddy. Enjoy!!! I would also recommend, if you missed reading TIN0 GEORGIOU'S masterpiece--THE FATES, go and read it. With fascinating and brilliantly created characters in `THE FATES' coupled with two intertwining plots makes for a completely enjoyable and page-turning read.