Fallen Angel (Frances Gorges)

Written by Tracy Borman
Review by Lisa Redmond

The Fallen Angel is the final volume of Tracy Borman’s outstanding trilogy set at the court of James I. Our heroine, Frances Gorges, is now happily married, but when her husband is appointed master of the buckhounds, their lives are once again entwined with the treachery and ambition of the court. Soon a new favourite catches the King’s eye: George Villiers, whose villainy and poisonous character are fantastically captured by Borman.

Frances makes an enemy of Villiers, a dangerous move as he rises through court circles. Then, breaking her promise to husband Thomas, she once again involves herself in a Catholic plot with old friend Sir Walter Raleigh. Frances also risks the accusation of witchcraft when she promises to use her healing skills to tend the son of the Earl of Rutland and furthermore, through old friends and new, she becomes caught up in a treacherous scheme of Villiers’ making, as he endeavours to make himself as rich as he is powerful.

Tracy Borman proves herself once more to be a deft and skilful plotter. This is a sharply written page turner, and even if you know the history, the twists and turns will have you gasping out loud. Borman is a renowned historian and writer of non-fiction, but with this trilogy she establishes herself as an historical novelist to rival the throne of Phillipa Gregory, Anne O’Brien and Elizabeth Chadwick.