5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Restoration Historical Fiction,
This review is from: The Rival Queens: A Novel of Artifice, Gunpowder and Murder in Eighteenth-Century London (Hardcover)
"The Rival Queens", is the first work that I have read by Fidelis Morgan whose talents go beyond that of a novelist to being an actress and playwright as well. She also brings to her fiction her writing that documents the true lives of 17th and 18th Century women, and she has also edited the work of others as well. All these accomplishments bring to her writing a great authenticity as she chronicles the mysteries of 18th Century London, the stage, and the players upon it.
It is a fine line between presenting dialogue that is authentic from the 18th Century, and writing so faithfully to every bit of slang then in use so as to make reading a work frustrating to impossible. When I read historical fiction, one of the last burdens I want to have is the constant interruption of language that has become arcane, or footnotes that interrupt the narrative flow. Another failing of some writers is that they take great liberty with the historical figures they place within their fiction. Fidelis Morgan uses Samuel Pepys as a player in her tale, and nothing she portrayed was inconsistent with what I have read of the man.
Her two heroines who are the sleuths are both wonderful, and are a good team while often being the perfect odd couple. This piece has all the drama of hands drenched in blood, blood spouting from public fountains, and bodies that either appear or actually seem to have misplaced some of their parts. The book is fun and entertaining with the author adding enough levity to keep her work from becoming another bloodletting ripper tale. I definitely will be going back to her first work, and I look forward to reading many more