You will not breeze through Mary Hall’s Amberly. No. You will savor it slowly as she draws you into the world she has built and you will enjoy your time befriending the characters who live there. It is a historical romance set in a fictional Anglo country very much like Britain.

When Royal Guardsman Marriston, a staunch monarchist, rescues a young lady from the clutches of the evil, land-grubbing Norlanders, he has no idea Eleanor is the daughter of the Mayor of Amberly, who founded the anti-Royalist Freedom Falcons. Marriston and Eleanor face such things as wild boars and worse on the way to Amberly, but it’s nothing compared to what they face when they finally enter Freedom Falcon territory determined to be married.

My favorite part of the book is how Hall makes the Twin Kings (fascinating idea!) of Bretalia come to life as they face the Freedom Falcons. They are real, hot-blooded 36-year-old men. They trust each other to hold one another accountable in the leadership of their country and for their Christian walk. She is deft with her writing, making each twin a separate and unique and lovable individual in his own right, yet still there is that twin bond.

Okay, I have a second favorite part as well: the tension between the Freedom Falcons (especially Eleanor’s father) and the Twin Kings…all sincere Christians who sincerely disagree with one another politically. This tension flows over into virtually all of the relationships in the book in some way or another.

Yes, even the non-action parts of Hall’s novel sizzle with debate and discussion, so the characters are real.

And wait till you read the Epilogue…Book 2 can’t come soon enough!



(fair disclosure: I received a free review copy from the author)