Oh, dear readers–you can thank me later–for turning your attention to another AMAZING book. The Class of 2k12 ARC Tour is still in effect and this week I had the chance to read THE WICKED AND THE JUST by J. Anderson Coats. I shall begin my gushing immediately after I give you a synopsis of the book.
In thirteenth-century Wales, ten years into English rule, two girls at cross purposes are caught up in ethnic strife, institutionalized corruption and impending rebellion.
1293. North Wales. Ten years into English rule.
Cecily would give anything to leave Caernarvon and go home. Gwenhwyfar would give anything to see all the English leave.
Neither one is going to get her wish.
Behind the city walls, English burgesses govern with impunity. Outside the walls, the Welsh are confined by custom and bear the burden of taxation, and the burgesses plan to keep it that way.
Cecily can’t be bothered with boring things like the steep new tax or the military draft that requires Welshmen to serve in the king’s army overseas. She has her hands full trying to fit in with the town’s privileged elite, and they don’t want company.
Gwenhwyfar can’t avoid these things. She counts herself lucky to get through one more day, and service in Cecily’s house is just salt in the wound.
But the Welsh are not as conquered as they seem, and the suffering in the countryside is rapidly turning to discontent. The murmurs of revolt may be Gwenhwyfar’s only hope for survival – and the last thing Cecily ever hears.
THE WICKED AND THE JUST goes on sale TOMORROW!!!! You can order it here…
Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of THE WICKED AND THE JUST
The blurb on the front of THE WICKED AND THE JUST goes like this…
“I am gobsmacked by this astonishing story. A remarkable achievement.” –Karen Cushman
I’m here to tell you that GOBSMACKED is the only word that adequately sums up this tale of both cruelty and generosity of spirit.
I am always amazed at how truth can be so much harder to wrap your mind around than fiction. Combine that with the imagination of a very talented author, and you come up with a book that just blows me away. THE WICKED AND THE JUST did exactly that.
I may have mentioned before that I don’t tend to gravitate towards historical fiction, but when it finds me, it’s usually for a reason. I am so happy that this book made it’s way into my hands.
I want to sit here and wax poetic about what life was like in Caernarvon in 1294 but I’d just be blathering on and on about the meaning of life and change, history and evolution, humanity and inhumanity. It would just be easier if you read the book and then we talked. And I hope we do. I love to discuss books that are this good.
But I can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about the characters in this story. I have NEVER loved and hated two characters as much as Cecily and Gwenhwyfar. I was so vested in the lives of these two girls that it was painful at moments. J. Anderson Coats has a gift for writing characters that leave a mark on you–that change who you are and how you see the world. She does this with out preaching or manipulation. It is her mastery of the nuances of people and their behavior that makes this story exquisite.
I am proud of the company I keep in the Class of 2k12 and without a doubt, I will be reading this amazing book to my boys.
J. Anderson Coats has dug for crystals, held Lewis and Clark’s original hand-written journal and been a mile underground. She has a cool surgery scar unrelated to childbirth, she reads Latin, and she’s been given the curse of Cromwell on a back-road in Connemara. On a clear day, she can see the Olympic mountains from her front window. On the foggy ones, she can smell the Puget Sound.
She writes historical fiction set in the middle ages that routinely includes too much violence, name-calling and petty vandalism perpetrated by badly-behaved young people. Her work is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
The Wicked and the Just, J’s debut novel, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in spring 2012.
You can find out more about J. Anderson Coats and THE WICKED AND THE JUST here…
I also wanted to announce the winner of a pre-order of TOUCHING THE SURFACE. *drum roll please*
The winner is…Ashley of Ashley Loves Books!!!!! Congratulations to Ashley.
So…I’m wondering if there is a genre of books in which you find yourself being a reluctant reader, but are often pleasantly surprised when you do read that type of book? What’s you’re favorite genre to read in? Do you have a type of book you don’t usually tell people that you like to read, but you’re going to quietly whisper it in my ear now? Come on–spill the beans.