A highly entertaining, wonderfully colourful story, now revealed to be written by one of our favourite historical novelists.
The gilded family had been the envy and the pride of England for centuries.
Never had the Lazenders seemed more powerful or more wealthy. And never had the unseen means of their destruction seemed so close...Yet the heir to the estate was absent.
Toby Lazender worked for the British in Revolutionary France - where he hunted down the men who had murdered the innocent girl he loved.
It was his sister, Campion, who oversaw the family's affairs at the 'little kingdom' of Lazen Castle.
But Lazen is, unknowingly, a house under siege. The Fallen Angels - among the most powerful and dangerous men in Europe - are plotting to bring revolution to England.
To succeed, they need money, and the Lazender fortune can provide it.
The key to the fortune is control of Campion's future.
A web of deceit closes around Lazen, drawing Campion ever closer to a subtle trap that has been laid just for her.
Her only hope for survival lies with the Gypsy - her brother's broodingly aloof horse-master - a man whose loyalties are at best uncertain. The Fallen Angels is a powerful blend of passion, adventure and intrigue, played out in the shadow of the guillotine and the sunlit splendour of an English estate.
It is a worthy successor to A Crowning Mercy, the first chronicle of the Lazender family.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 496 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 07/02/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780007176427
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Review by AdonisGuilfoyle
I bought this book because of the French Revolution background, but the story is so much more than that (in fact, Paris during the revolution barely features, but I was hooked anyway!): romance, a strong heroine, characters who earn the reader's trust and don't deserve it (and vice versa). The involvement of an Illuminati sect, the 'Fallen Angels' is well written, and adds to the darkness and danger of 1790s Paris, but seems rather superfluous to the conclusion. It was fun guessing the identity of Lucifer, the shadowy head of the Fallen Angels, and waiting to have my suspicions confirmed: the author neatly reminds the reader of certain character traits,to aid a mental game of 'Snap!' with the many 'dual personalities' in the book. The historical detail was slightly anachronistic, mainly concerning dance and dress (more Victorian than late Georgian or early Regency), but the descriptions of place and the chivalrous behaviour of the characters was certainly evocative of the time. This is my first taste of Bernard Cornwell - or Susannah Kells, in this case - and I shall certainly try and read the other two stories in this sequence!