A Kingdom For The Brave

Written by Tamara McKinley

The story begins seven years after the first settlers arrived in New South Wales, following the fortunes of three interconnected families and Aborigines whose lands have been stolen. Eloise, locked in a loveless marriage with the brutal Edward, falls in love with George. Three emancipated convicts work their own farm, with Alice who ventures from England to join her fiancé.

The backdrop of this raw country is described in loving, evocative detail. The complicated strands of the lives of several characters are neatly interwoven with real events such as the Rum Rebellion and the coup against Governor Bligh. The free settlers, army, emancipated convicts and Aborigines are shown fighting for their own objectives, but there is surprisingly little detail about the lives of the convicts themselves, for whom the colony was set up.

Many of these characters have already appeared in Lands Beyond the Sea, and readers who have enjoyed that will relish the opportunity to follow up their later lives.