Friday, July 20, 2012

Queen of Swords (Book Five of Wilderness Saga), by Sara Donati

Queen of Swords
Book 5 of Wilderness
Written by Sara Donati
I must begin by saying that I am terribly fond of Donati's writing, and the Wilderness Series of books she has written. Due to a series of simple mistakes I have actually read all but one of the books in this series, book four, but I read them out of order. I began with Endless Forests (book 6); not realizing it was the conclusion of a six book series, followed by books one, two, three, and five (which I had mistaken for book 4). Presently the only book of the series I haven't read is book 4, Fire in the Sky, which I hope to rectify shortly.

Despite the willy nilly methods I employed while reading the series, thus far I've enjoyed each of the books. I'll admit to a bit of confusion about how certain characters came to be in their present circumstances, and why some characters were better explained than others (to avoid repetition because Donati had introduced them thoroughly in other books). Although the books could each function as stand alone novels, I think that you would enjoy them more, if you read them in the order they were intended to be read. It would definitely help you avoid the confusion I suffered.

Queen of Swords was set during the early stages of the American War of 1812, and much of it takes place in New Orleans (Video of Battle of New Orleans above) shortly before, during, and right after the Battle of New Orleans. Donati does an amazing job of painting a picture of a time when the cultural lines between redbone slaves (Native American), black slaves, free people of color, free red bones (Native Americans), Americans, and Creoles were extremely controversial and politically charged. New Orleans included an incredibly diverse population even then, and the racial divisions, both real and imagined, played a huge part in the way the people of New Orleans interacted with one another.

Donati also manages to clearly portray the dangers to women, especially women of color, during that tumultuous time. Her writing transports you to a place and time in history reminiscent of Diane Gabaldon's Outlander series. In fact, in a few of Donati's books her characters meet Gabaldon's characters, for any Outlander fans who cannot get enough of Clare and Jaime.

If you enjoy historic fiction, I recommend that you try out Into the Wilderness, the first book of Donati's Wilderness Series. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

No comments:

Post a Comment