Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats Review

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Cecily’s father has ruined her life. He’s moving them to occupied Wales, where the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will finally be the lady of the house. 

Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl. 

While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.



(Synopsis and cover picture provided by GoodReads)
Source - DAC ARC Tour




Today is the release day of Coat’s debut historical fiction novel, The Wicked and the Just!

I have a mixed reaction when I think of this strong and unique debut. I enjoyed its realism towards the time period it portrayed but I do not feel a rush of excitement and awe to re-read this book.

In The Wicked and the Just, Coats created a historically accurate novel that deals with discrimination and rivalries between two groups. The English completely treated the Welsh as inferiors and believe that would not result in drear consequences. This novel is a primary example of a book that does not shy away from the dismal and segregated reality of Wales  during 1293. 
I never read a book set in Wales before so I was excited to see how the writer will describe the area. I was amazed at the descriptions of the market place, Cecily’s mansion and the Welsh living quarters.

 I also liked how I enjoyed reading Cecily’s point of view despite her being what appears to be an unlikable character. I applaud Coats for causing me to actual connect to a selfish teenager who spent most of the book complaining. I feel that I was able to connect with Cecily because she admitted to her faults and did not try to change her personality. I cannot help but admire her headstrong nature.  
Still, I feel I will not re-read this book again because it actually has no exciting plot. It was more a description of a life in Wales then a story of change and self-realization. I always have been a reader who enjoyed stories of adventure and character development. This novel sadly did not contain endless excitement. Until the end, I found the story a bit dull.  I also had trouble getting into Gwen’s point of view and I tended to not enjoy her chapters. I felt the incidents that happened in Gwen’s life were boring and I disliked the way her thoughts flowed.
The amazing ending!
What causes me to recommend this book is the ending because it completely captivated me. It was a complete ending of sadness and hope. I truly felt connected to Cecily’s emotional state of mind.
In all, I feel that this debut novel should be at least tried by historical fiction lovers. 

4 comments:

  1. I think this would be interesting to try, even if just to experience Wales in history, like you said. Thx for the thoughtful review!!!

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  2. I love the cover of this book! It sounds good even if its not a read over and over again kinda book!

    Really enjoyed reading this review x

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  3. It's my first review for this book, and i'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll have to check it out. Great review!

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  4. I usually like more plot-driven books but this doesn't sound like a bad read. I'm glad you enjoyed parts of it. Great review! :)

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