Some lovely readers have posted great reviews both on Amazon and on their own blogs. (warning – may contain spoilers!)
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4 Stars – Beautifully written historical novel
This was a solid historical novel that really makes the people the focus of the story, which is why it really pulled me in as a reader. Valentia is a complex character, and her own personal growth as her journey progresses really makes it easy to connect with her. The characters and the plot all mesh nicely into a lovely story where the setting really makes it all blend into a great novel. I would be most interested in reading more by this author. They have a great way of putting people on the page and making them come alive. The blend of history and politics is subtle and makes a point without taking over the story.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
By Jason Pere on October 23, 2015
By Dee Johnston on October 21, 2015
This was such a joy to read. Christy Nicholas has painted such a vivid setting in her Historical Fantasy story that the reader feels completely pulled in and connected from the very beginning.
The characters and plot were both well developed. I enjoyed everything from the pacing to the ending.
I was given this book for an honest review free of persuasion from the author or anyone else affiliated with this book.
You have to read the book to follow Valentia as she learns about the country her family emigrated from and the family still living in Ireland. Her ups and downs and conflicts through this time of unrest will keep you reading. Stay with her as she learns what she can or cannot do to help the situation as she realizes her true attachment to the land.
I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. I recommend this book to those who love historical fantasy.
I loved the authentic feel of the Historical aspect of this novel. I really felt like even thought this is Fantasy it is very well done as far as the time and setting. I appreciated that!I really enjoyed the flow of this novel. It read very easily and smooth and the pacing was spot on even without a crazy amount of action.
Characterization is always important and I liked the well rounded characters she created.
Review: 4 Stars
Author Christy Nicholas has created a novel rich with history and an engaging characters. Nicholas writes with a strong understanding of the time in this sweet, historical fantasy. The novel starts in American as the heroine Valentina travels to Ireland to learn more about her family history. In Ireland things begin to change and Valentia finds the tie to the past and the magic associated with Ireland. This is just the start of the Druid Brooch Series and I look forward to the next book in the series.
The amount of research and dedication that has to go into Historical novels blows my mind. It takes a lot for an author to genuinely be able to transport the reader to another time. Christy Nicholas has manged to do just that.
The plot flowed smoothly and was easy to follow while being in depth enough to give me a feeling I knew these characters and what drove them to do the things they did.
Format: Kindle Edition
LEGACY OF HUNGER: DRUID’S BROOCH SERIES #1 is an historical fiction set in the late 1840s, as upper-class 23 year old Valentia McDowell travels with her maid, Maggie, and 21 year old brother, Conor and his manservant, Brendan, to her Irish homeland in search of her roots and her grandmother’s brooch. Exactly why the brooch is so important, and exactly why, at this point in time it is so important for Valentia to make the arduous journey to Ireland is not clear. As LOHDBS#1 is the first fiction published by author Christy Nicholas, who has two earlier Ireland travel guides on her resumé, I am willing to give the author a break on this lack of clarity.
The plot is neatly summarized by the book’s Amazon page blurb, which is also the frontispiece to the Kindle version, so there is no need for me to repeat a plot summary without adding unneeded spoilers. The writing is more than adequate, and there are few if any grammatical or typographical errors. There are, however, several anachronistic turns of phrase that did yank me out of the novel from time to time (e.g., “The family here sounded like a real piece of work.”, and “…a gold-digging debutante”. But there were few and far between. The pacing is leisurely, and the bulk of the novel consists of (interesting) long descriptive passages of the Irish countryside and towns and villages.
I liked the novel enough to finish it. Nichols obviously did a lot of research for the novel (and her previous travel guides) and it shows. She does good job of describing the two week voyage across the Atlantic on a luxury Cunard Line sailing/steamship hybrid (who knew?), which was, unlike a modern trans-Atlantic journey, fraught with dangers large and small. Once in Ireland, Valentia, who became ill on the voyage, and her entourage stop at a rather posh spa in the Conemarra (west coast) region for rest and recuperation. At the spa, and on her subsequent all-over-the-island search for the brooch and relatives, Valentia learns about the horrors of “the Hunger” caused by not only the potato blight, but by the inhumane oppression of the British and their wealthy Irish co-conspirators. Valentia, who was generous to begin with, undergoes a transformation and becomes a political activist, gradually throwing off the customs of her upper class-based upbringing and becoming the champion of the poor and oppressed, and writing endless letters to Parliament on behalf of Home Rule.
There are several opportunities for Nicholas to have turned this into a romantic historical fiction fantasy, and there are certainly bits of fantasy, but there are no steamy sex scenes or even any strong passion. I’m not sure why. I think the novel would have been improved by their addition. As to the magic, there is but a very wee bit. The biggest mystery of all is why this is called LEGACY OF HUNGER: DRUID’S BROOCH SERIES #1, since the end, which occurs in 1895 with Valentia in her 70s, is very clearly the end, although we know almost nothing of what happened in the intervening 45 years or so.
In the end, LOHDBS#1 is more of an Irish travelogue, and a history of the Hunger, as well as the coming of age of a strong-willed American immigrant who learns to cast of the reins of her class-based upbringing, than a dashing romantic historical fiction. More’s the pity, as I think more romance, sex and magic would have spiced things up considerably. The amount of money that Valentia gave away to the poor and the amount she spent on her quest seemed astronomically high and inconsistent with her second class passage across the Atlantic. Valentia appeared to have (and travel with!!!!) nearly unlimited funds that were readily replenishable en route .I think Ms. Nicholas has potential as a writer and look forward to seeing what comes next.
disclaimer: I received an e-book copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I went into this story not knowing what to expect. I was approached by the author to read her book, and after I was provided a short synopsis of the story, I deemed it interesting enough to pick up and review.
By the first chapter, I was intrigued. I didn’t need time adjusting to the writing or anything of the sort, it was quite similar to love at first sight. I didn’t want to build my expectations too high, but I was hoping that this particular story would be mesmerizing throughout. I was not disappointed.
From the very first page, to the very last, I was sold. This book is a winner. Valentia’s growth as a character was so subtle and clever, the effect didn’t even completely make an impact on me until the last chapter. When it did, I had to take a moment and congratulate the author, Christy Nicholas, in my head for a job well done. Ms Nicholas’ research for this book was very impressive. The amount of detail and love she put into her story is noticeable and very honorable. Positive praise for The Legacy of Hunger must be noted, because it is well deserved.
As time ages this story in my head (like a fine wine), I may have to alter my rating from a four star to a five. Time will tell in the end, but I promise I will be thinking about this book for a long time.
By the “#1” indicator next to the book’s description on Amazon, I’m assuming The Legacy of Hunger is the first of several books in this series. I’m glad. I will read on, and enjoy every minute of it.
I pray the books that follow will be as wonderful as book one.
author or anyone else affiliated with this book.CONTAINS SOME SPOILERSComing from a life of ease, Valentia has some hard lessons to learn.After losing her possessions in a hotel fire in Pittsburgh in 1864, then traveling to Ireland by ship, she learns the hard way that life is easily extinguished. She loses her brother and his butler to yellow fever while she is ill with malaria. Arriving in Ireland, Valentia learns life is not easy for her and her maid alone with no male protectors while continuing to recover from her illness. During her search for her grandmother’s family and a family heirloom, she learns what the country is really facing during the potato blight and how her family refuses to help the locals who have lived on the land for centuries.You have to read the book to follow Valentia as she learns about the country her family emigrated from and the family still living in Ireland. Her ups and downs and conflicts through this time of unrest will keep you reading. Stay with her as she learns what she can or cannot do to help the situation as she realizes her true attachment to the land.I felt like I was right there with Valentia, feeling the pain and and despair of the local people. I could feel her frustration of not being able to help like she wanted to due to politics and those in power refusing to be held accountable for the situation. It is an all too common problem when power and the almighty dollar means more than the lives of the common people.
I write historical fantasy novels, mostly set in Ireland, and a contemporary romance based on my parents’ 30-year search for true love. Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.
– Better To Have Loved – Contemporary romance based on the true story of my parents’ 30-year search for love
– Legacy of Hunger – Historical fantasy set in 1846 Ireland
– Legacy of Truth – Historical fantasy set around 1800 Ireland. Prequel to Legacy of Hunger, on pre-order now!