Sunday, March 11, 2012

Catching the Eagle by Karen Charlton - review



Author: Karen Charlton

Title: Catching the Eagle
Series: Regency Reivers Series, #1
Release date: 8th December 2011
Published by: Knox Robinson Publishing
Reading level: FICTION - ADULT: Family Saga, Historical, Romance, Suspense
URL: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12923007-catching-the-eagle
Pages: 364 pages in Kindle edition
Source: From the publisher for review

Summary of Catching the Eagle:

Easter Monday, 1809: Kirkley Hall manor house is mysteriously burgled. When suspicion falls on Jamie Charlton, he and his family face a desperate battle to save him from the gallows. When 1,157 rent money is stolen from Kirkley Hall, it is the biggest robbery Northumberland has ever known. The owner sends for Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street magistrate's court in London, to investigate the crime. Suspicion soon falls on impoverished farm laborer, Jamie Charlton, and the unpopular steward, Michael Aynsley. Jamie Charlton is a loving family man but he is hot-tempered and careless. As the case grows against him, it seems that only his young brother, William, can save him from an impending miscarriage of justice. But William is struggling with demons of his own. Desperate to break free from the tangled web of family ties which bind him to their small community, he is alarmed to find that he is falling in love with Jamie's wife. Set beneath the impenetrable gaze of a stray golden eagle whose fate seems to mirror that of Jamie's, Catching the Eagle, the first novel in the Regency Reivers Series, is a fictionalized account of a trial that devastated a family and divided a community.


My review:

Catching the Eagle is a first book in a historical family saga. You are introduced to the characters and the surroundings in a very fascinated way. The title has also a very significant role in book: you meet an eagle who is struggling for keeping its freedom – just like the main characters in the book. Catching the Eagle was an interesting and well-written book with medium pace which is suitable for historical drama, believable characters and it was easy to read.

Regarding the plot:

Catching the Eagle starts with burglary of a big amount which is gathered as taxes for Kirkley Hall manor house. At the same time you are introduced to the main characters the Charlton brothers and their family. The reader meets Jamie and his beautiful wife Cilla and Jamie’s brother William.

The steward of Kirkley Hall Michael Ansley is sure that Jamie is the one who stole the money and accuses him for it. Detective Lavender is called in from London to solve the case and find out who is the guilty one in the case. As the detective is investigating the burglary, many things point towards Jamie, but since William is protecting his brother, Jamie gets off charges. The mystery remains, because during the first book the case is still not solved.

The author creates quite interesting setting and historical world where the society is much divided – you have the noble class who requires justice and the village people who work hard to survive. I enjoyed to learn more about the Charlton family and their stories.

The only thing I had difficulties with Catching the Eagle was the pace of the story, which in my opinion was sometimes too slow.

Regarding the characters:

Catching the Eagle was packed with fascinating characters, some of them were likeable, some despicable. The novel was very much driven by the characters, because the characters were carrying and unfolding the Charlton family story.

My favorite character was William. He supports his brother and his whole family by working hard and thinking clearly. He is a balanced and down to earth character even though he has his own struggles.

I did not like Jamie very much in the beginning of the story, because he put everything he held dear through lot of suffering. He was careless, clueless and acted very stupidly when the investigation started. Luckily his character developed through the story, but as I see it, he let everybody in his family down.

I loved Cilla, a woman with great strength. I really wished that Cilla and William could be together and Jamie would be imprisoned, but as the story went, I felt sorry for Jamie and Cilla.

There were also many interesting supportive characters in the book and I really enjoyed that the author put as much effort to the supportive characters as into the main ones.

Generally:

Catching the Eagle was very interesting historical novel, where many things were left open at the end of the book and I am looking very much forward to read the sequels.

5 Flowers!
4 stars.

Thanks goes to Knox Robinson Publishing for providing me with the review copy.

Happy reading!



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