The Fallen Kings


January 1918, and volume 32 of the Morland Saga. No conscientious objectors here; all the adult Morlands are doing their bit. Except for Jessie, who was nursing before being sent home in disgrace after getting pregnant while unmarried. The father is her cousin Bertie, commanding a battalion in France. Will he get a divorce from Maud and be able to marry Jessie before the birth? Meanwhile, Emma is driving an ambulance, Lennie returns to France, Jack is shot down and posted missing, Robert falls ill in Palestine and Thomas accompanies the Romanovs to Ekaterinburg. There are a great many Morlands, and recourse to the family tree is needed, especially as they are in the habit of falling in love with their cousins (except for Thomas, who is in love with the eldest Romanov daughter).

The Fallen Kings makes an easy read, and the author has clearly done her research. However, in a book only published in 2009, after Nicholas II and his family have all been accounted for by DNA tests, it is surprising to find a plot-line where they do not all die in Ekaterinburg. In contrast, I find the depiction of the reaction to an unmarried pregnancy very realistic. In most novels written nowadays, the erring pair are forgiven as soon as the infant arrives, but it was not like that then (my grandmother was six months pregnant at the time of her first marriage in 1906; her family treated her as practically a fallen woman thereafter, and I have never heard a single good word about her first husband).

No doubt, the next volume is on the stocks.


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(US) $29.95
(UK) £19.99

(UK) 9781847441157




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