Monday 24 June 2019

Book Review: The Devil's Slave (Frances Gorges #2) by Tracy Borman (Historical Fiction)

Title: The Devil's Slave (Frances Gorges #2)
Author: Tracy Borman
Grove Atlantic

Publication Date: 13 September 2019
eBook - PDF
Historical Fiction
ARC via NetGalley


At the end of The King's Witch, the first book in Tracy Borman's Stuart-era trilogy, Frances Gorges was pregnant with the child of her dead lover, Thomas Wintour, executed for his role as a conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Now, in The Devil's Slave, Frances is compelled to return to the dissolute and dangerous court where she has been suspected of witchcraft.

Catholics have gone underground in the new Puritan regime of King James I, and yet whispers of conspiracies continue to echo behind closed doors and down the halls of the royal palaces. Against this perilous backdrop, accompanied by her son George and her husband Sir Thomas Tyringham--whom she married conveniently to mask the true identity of her son's father--Frances reunites with her former mistress, the Princess Elizabeth, now of marriageable age, as well as other less friendly members of the court: Prince Henry, heir to the crown who emulates his father's brutality without scruple; Lord Cecil, eager to persecute Frances as a witch even as his own health rapidly declines; and King James himself, ever more paranoid and cruel towards alleged heretics and traitors. Yet a surprising ally emerges in the person of Sir Walter Raleigh, himself a prisoner in the Tower of London.

With more lives than merely her own on the line, Frances soon finds herself caught in a spider's web of secrets, promises, and plots.

Having enjoyed The King's Witch, I was interested to see what else life had in store for Frances in book two. Overall, The Devil's Slave was a good read. Perhaps it lacked a little of the excitement of the gunpowder plot in book one, but the novel was still well crafted, with good pacing and plenty of action along the way, especially as we moved into the latter half of the tale. Frances annoyed me once or twice with her bad decisions in this one, but on the whole she is a character the reader can get behind, and I am certainly keen to see how her story will end in book three. Recommended for fans of historical fiction who enjoy plenty of action and suspense in their stories.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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