Revenge and Retribution (The Graham Saga Book 6)

Written by Anna Belfrage
Review by Theresa Tomlinson

As I had not read any of the previous books in this series, jumping into the saga at book six was something of a challenge, and one of my purposes was to see if the book could stand alone. The first chapter put me sufficiently in the picture to feel drawn into the story and although there were a few characters and later references that I could not fully understand, these glimpses of events from previous novels served to intrigue, not put me off – I look forward to reading the whole series. This is historical fiction with a fantasy element and well worth ‘going with it’ – the style of prose is clear and vivid.

Alexandra Lind – an independent modern woman, now in her fifties, has been transported back to the 1600s. This allows for occasional amusing use of modern references and language; I was charmed by the mention of my favourite story Ferdinand the Bull. With her attractive, seventeenth-century husband and considerable family, Alex has travelled from Scotland to Maryland, in search of a more tolerant society. However, the vicious gang of Burley brothers, the unsettling, but interesting presence of the native Chief Qaachow, along with the complication of compelling, magical time-squares – that have the power to draw the unwary into another time or space – mean that the family struggles to live in peace. The action races along towards a terrifying climax, but period and place are brought vividly to life, with smells, sounds, plants, food and stunning geographical descriptions. As the title suggests, Alex and her family battle their way through several hardships and there are detailed descriptions of violence, death, rape and torture. However, the overwhelming impression that I am left with is one of memorable characters, who exude earthy warmth and astounding resilience.